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Ntiv York igi2 



Set up and electrotyped October, 1898. Reprinted December, 
j8 ; November, 1904 ; January, 1909. 

Norfajoob ^rtgg 

J. 8. Gushing & Co. Berwick & Smith 
Norwood MasB. U.S.A. 




Introduction xvii 

Thb Founder of the Quaker City. 

William Penn's childhood. — Nonconformity at Oxford. 

— Gay life in France and Ireland. — Converted to Quaker- 
ism by Fox. — " No Cross, no Crown." — Province of Penn- 
sylvania granted by Charles II. to Penn. — Framing the 
"Great Law" 1 

The Founding of the Quaker City. 

Philadelphia's first homes. — " Great Treaty" at Shacka- 
maxon. — Dispute with Lord Baltimore. — Return of Penn 
to England 16 

The Quaker City's Childhood. 

Early colonial life. — Philadelphia's first schools. — Her 
malefactors and witches. — Religious sects. — Whitefield. — 
Hostility to Roman Catholics. — Gloria Dei. — Christ Church. 

— Its influence in the colony. — Contest between Quakers 

and Episcopalians 25 

The Last Years of William Penn. 

Penn at the court of James II. — Disgraced, after the 
accession of William III. — Visits Philadelphia. — Penns- 
bury. — Discontent of wife and daughter. — Return to 
England. — Financial troubles. — Death. — Opinion of Swift 62 




How THE Quaker City Grew. 

Paper currency. — Philadelphia's prosperity. — Pastimes. 

— Actors. — The Hallams. — Opposition to plays. — Old 
South wark Theatre. — Deceits and devices .... 65 


The Birth of Learning in the Quaker City. 

Academy of Natural Sciences. — The city's debt to 
Franklin. — Philadelphia Library. — Founding the college. 

— Its stormy life. — Provost Smith. — Hostility of the Con- 
stitutionalists. — The Philosophical Society. — Transit of 
Venus. — Distinguished members 80 


The State House and its Message. 

The "Towne House." — Building the State House. — Its 
historic interest. — The Liberty Bell. — Declaration of In- 
dependence 106 


How the Quaker City spent its Money. 

Increasing wealth of Philadelphia. — Quaker almshouses. — 
Gabriel and Evangeline. — Pennsylvania Hospital. — Creat- 
ure comforts and display. — Journal of Jacob Hiltzheimer. 

— Franklin's household. — James Logan. — Stenton. — In 

gay attire. — The Dancing Assemblies 114 


War and the Rumours op War. 

Hostilities with the Indians. — "Walking Purchase." — 
Braddock's defeat. — Expedition against Fort Du Quesne. 

— The " Paxton Boys." — Murder of the Conestoga Ind- 
ians. — Philadelphia threatened. — Bouquet's triumph . 137 




The Eve of the Revolution. 

Philadelphia's country seats. — Belmont. — Mount Pleas- 
ant. — Fairhill. — Lansdowne. — John Bartrara. — Journal 
of Elizabeth Drinker 161 

The Dawn of the Revolution. 

The Stamp Act. — " Parmer's Letters." — Tea ship 
Polly — Continental Congress. — Conservative Quakers. — 
News of the battle of Lexington 178 


Committee of Safety. — " 'Common Sense' for eighteen 
pence." — Convention of 1776. — New constitution for Penn- 
sylvania. — Lee's resolutions. — Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. — Approach of General Howe. — The "Free Quakers " 191 

A Gay Captivity. 

General Howe enters Philadelphia. — Battle of German- 
town. — Destruction of the forts. — Gayeties of the winter. 

— South wark Theatre. — Letters of Miss Rebecca Franks. — 
The Mischianza. — General Howe recalled. — Departure of 

Sir Henry Clinton. — Battle of Monmouth . . . . 216 

Lords of Misrule. 

Triumph of the mob. — Unpopularity of General Arnold. 

— The robber Doans. — Persecution of the Quakers. — 
Journal of Elizabeth Drinker. — Depreciation of the cur- 
rency. — Alliance with France. — Franklin in Paris. — Ar- 
nold's treachery. — Andre's death. — Arrival of French 
troops. — Surrender of Lord Cornwallls .... 237 





Fete du Dauphin. — Attack on the Bank of North Amer- 
ica. — Robert Morris. — The Chevalier de Beaujour. — Na- 
tional Constitution. — Federal procession. — State Constitu- 
tion. — Death of Franklin 258 

Philadelphia Regnant. 

Return of Congress to Philadelphia. — Washington's re- 
ceptions. — General extravagance. — "The dazzling Mrs. 
Bingham." — Brissot de Warville. — Art and letters. — Dis- 
comforts of travel 279 

Two Forms op Fever. 

Enthusiasm for France. — L^ Ambuscade. — Genet. — 
"Dansons la Carmagnole." — Yellow fever. — Letters of 
Dr. Benjamin Rush. — Battle of the drugs. — Whiskey dis- 
tillers. — Dr. George Logan. — Withdrawal of state legislat- 
ure to Harrisburg, and of Congress to Washington . . 296 


Embargo Act of 1807. — War of 1812.— piscovery of 
Pennsylvania's coal mines. — Visit of La Fayette. — Wistar 
parties. — Franklin Institute. — " Old Ironsides." — Penn- 
sylvania Historical Society. — Stephen Girard and his 
school. — Refusal of President Jackson to re-charter the 
Bank of the United States. — Financial distress . . . 317 


Negro riots. — Burning of Pennsylvania Hall. — " Native 
American" riots. — Hibernia Hose House. — Burning of St. 



Michael's and St. Augustine's Roman Catholic churches. — 
Desperate fighting in the streets. — Consolidation Act of 
1864 342 

The Civil War. 

Philadelphia's politics. — The Copperheads. — Battle of 
Gettysburg. — Drafting. — Sanitary Fair. — Hospitals. — 
Peace 366 


The Quaker City of To-day. 

Progress. — Centennial Exhibition. — Bullitt Bill. — Mere- 
tricious architecture. — City Hall. — Academy of the Fine 
Arts. — University of Pennsylvania. — Bryn Mawr College. 
—Fairmount Park.— The Quaker City .... 367 


William Penn Frontispiece 


Penn's Crest 5 

" A Site for a Fair City " 11 

Penn's Seal 13 

Penn's Wampum Belt 15 

" The Demure Little Letitia House " 19 

" Over the Cooling Wave " 23 

Map of Philadelphia, 1682 26 

" Along the River's Bank " 30 

" The Meeting-House " 33 

St. David's at Radnor 38 

Gloria Dei 43 

"The Antique Font" 44 

Christ Church 47 

Gloria Dei 51 

" The Slate Roof House " 56 

Penn's Desk 58 

Logan Arms 64 

Old House on Race Street Wharf 69 

An Alley 77 

Doorway on Pine Street 80 

Franklin's Clock 86 

Portrait of Franklin 88 

"Woodlands" 91 

Library of University of Pennsylvania 98 

Doorways 100 




Liberty Bell 106 

The " Towne House " 108 

Old State House Ill 

State House 112 

Case containing Original of Declaration of Independence . .113 

Quaker Almshouse .116 

Pennsylvania Hospital 121 

A Bit of Pennsylvania Hospital 123 

Stenton 129 

Franklin's Punch Keg 136 

St. Peter's Church 145 

In Old St. Peter's 156 

" A stately, strong old House " 162 

" In the old Wister Homestead " 165 

" The old Bartram Homestead " . , . . . .171 

Interior of Carpenters' Hall 178 

Carpenters' Hall . 185 

Inkstand in Independence Hall 191 

House of Betty Ross, where First American Flag was made . 196 

Room in State House where Declaration was signed . . . 203 

" This strong old Country House " 219 

Major Andr6 223 

Walnut Grove 228 

Mt. Pleasant : Arnold's Home 239 

Woodford House 246 

Stairway in State House 250 

Washington's Desk 259 

" The Old State House " 271 

Franklin's Grave 278 

Morris House, Germantown 284 

Tea-Room in Morris House 288 

" A Nymph holding a Swan " 291 

Old Market-Place 295 



The Schuylkill's Bank 298 

An Old Street 304 

Jefferson's Chair 311 

In Fairmount Park 317 

The Mint 324 

Old Houses by the River 325 

Masonic Temple 330 

Girard College 337 

" The Silent City " 341 

A Negro Alley 344 

Interior of Roman Catholic Cathedral 350 

Old Market-Place 353 

"Over the Roof of Independence Hall" 358 

Chestnut Street 362 

Fairmount Park 367 

Horticultural Hall 369 

City Hall 374 

Art Club 376 

Library of University of Pennsylvania 379 

Pembroke Hall, Byrn Mawr College 381 

Lily Pond, Fairmount Park 384 

The " Solitude " 386 

Flower Beds, Fairmount Park 388 


/^UT of the mists that mercifully conceal those early 
^""^ school-days which, being forgotten, are unduly 
praised, comes the spectre of a little American history 
with green sides and a red back, an odious little his- 
tory, arranged in questions and answers like a cate- 
chism, and wholly destitute of anything that could 
arouse childish interest or quicken childish enthusiasm. 
One page and one only lingers in my memory, as a re- 
turn for the many gloomy hours wasted in the com- 
panionship of this book, — a page containing a print 
of West's picture, of the " Great Treaty " at Shacka- 

Our grandfathers loved this picture, and implicitly 
believed all the details of the incident it portrays. 
We have outgrown our grandfathers' narrow artistic 
standards, and their broad historic credulity ; and the 
agreeable consciousness of such double progress en- 
riches our self-esteem. Yet it is a pleasant scene that 
West painted in those easy, ignorant days, when im- 
pressionism had still to be invented, and people had 
not begun to make a fetich of truth. The "Treaty 
Elm" spreading its mighty branches, as proud and as 



honoured as England's "Royal Oak." William Penn, 
years older than his age, dressed as he never did dress 
in early manhood, benignantly blessing everybody. 
Venerable Friends, in the loosest and longest of coats, 
holding a parchment deed of mighty bulk, the docu- 
ment which has been lost for more than two hundred 
years. Boxes and bales of goods scattered on the 
sward. Indian braves solemnly inspecting their con- 
tents. Indian squaws and pappooses grouped pictu- 
resquely in the foreground. The whole composition 
suggesting an entertainment midway between a church 
fair and an afternoon tea, placid, decorous, satisfactory, 
and sincere. 

This was the peaceful fashion in which the little 
Quaker colony took her infant steps, this was the 
atmosphere which nurtured her tender youth. And 
now, after two centuries have rolled slowly by, some- 
thing of the same spirit lingers in the quiet city which 
preserves the decorum of those early years, which does 
not jostle her sister cities in the race of life, nor shout 
loud cries of triumph in their ears, nor flaunt magnifi- 
cent streamers in the breeze to bid the world take note 
of each j)ace she advances. 

Every community, like every man, carries to old 
age the traditions of its childhood, the inheritance 
derived from those who bade it live. And Philadel- 
phia, though she has suffered sorely from rude and 
alien hands, still bears in her tranquil streets the 


impress of the Founder's touch. Simplicity, dignity, 
reserve, characterize her now as in Coh)nial days. She 
remembers those days with silent self-respect, placing 
a high value upon names which then were honoured, and 
are honoured still. The pride of the past mingles and 
is one with the pride of the present. The stainless 
record borne by her citizens a hundred and fifty years 
ago flowers anew in the stainless record their great- 
great-grandsons bear to-day ; and the city cherishes in 
her cold heart the long annals of the centuries, softening 
the austerity of her presence for these favoured inheri- 
tors of her best traditions. She is not eager for the 
unknown ; she is not keen after excitement ; she is not 
enamoured of noise. Her least noticeable character- 
istic is enthusiasm. Her mental balance cannot lightly 
be disturbed. Surtout pas trop de zele, she says with 
Talleyrand ; and the slow, sure process by which her 
persuasions harden into convictions does not leave her, 
like a derelict, at the mercy of wind and wave. She 
spares herself the arduous labour of forming new 
opinions every morning, by recollecting and cherishing 
her opinions of yesterday. It is a habit which pro- 
motes solidity of thought. 

To those who by right of heritage call themselves 
her sons, and even to such step-children as are, by 
nature or grace, attuned to the chill tranquillity of their 
foster mother, Philadelphia has a subtle charm that 
endures to the end of life. In the restful atmosphere 


of her sincere indifference, men and women gain clear- 
ness of perspective, and the saving grace of modesty. 
Few pedestals are erected for their accommodation. 
They walk the level ground, and, in the healthy 
absence of local standards, have no alternative save 
to accept the broad disheartening standards of the 
world. Philadelphians are every whit as mediocre 
as their neighbours, but they seldom encourage each 
other in mediocrity by giving it a more agreeable name. 
Something of the old Quaker directness, something of 
the old Quaker candour, — a robust candour not easily 
subdued, — still lingers in the city founded by the 
"white truth- teller," whose word was not as the words 
of other men, — spoken to conceal his thoughts, and 
the secret purpose of his soul. 

Deep is the debt of gratitude which the City of 
Peace owes to the many hands that have laboured for 
two hundred years in her behalf; but deepest of all 
is her debt to Penn who knew her little but who 
loved her well, whom she thrust aside from her coun- 
cils, and forgot in his hour of need, but whose in- 
fluence lingers to-day in that atmosphere of serenity 
which is the finest characteristic of Philadelphia. 
More impetuous towns speed like meteors on their 
paths, dazzling the western world by their velocity, 
and dazzled themselves by their own glitter and glory ; 
but the Quaker City sees, them rush by without envy, 
without ambition, without distaste, without emotions 


of any kind. She knows, and she has known for 
many years, what is best for her ; and if this best be 
ever out of reach, it is not by mere swiftness of step 
that she can hope to overtake it. She is content to 
grow slowly if she can grow synnnetrically, and if 
grace and strength keep pace with her increasing bulk. 
She is content to face the future if she can hold closely 
to the past, recalling its lessons, valuing its traditions, 
respecting its memory, and loving in her cold, steadfast 
fashion the living links which connect her with her 
honourable history, with her part in the great story of 
the nation. 





TT is hard for us who live in an age of careless and 
cheerful tolerance to understand the precise incon- 
veniences attending religious persecution. The lamen- 
table decline of church discipline leaves us powerless to 
interfere with the erroneous convictions of our neigh- 
bours, and our own polite indifference permits them to 
cherish their delusions unassailed. We are so full of 
courteous phrases, pulpit bowing to pulpit, and '•'•Apres 
vous^ Monsieur^'^ murmured all along the line, that it is 
like stepping into another world, into a bleak, clear, 
atmosphere of sincere ungraciousness, when we hear 
what old Robert Burton — a man of infinite good tem- 
per — has to say anent the Anabaptists ; or when we 
listen to the vigorous anathemas launched by Sydney 
Smith against the Methodists, or even when we open 
the diary of that fine old English gentleman, John 
Evelyn, and read his opinion of Quakers. On the 
eighth of July, 1656, he visits some of these innocent 
offenders in prison ; and, far from expressing any sym- 

B 1 


pathy for their sufferings, or any admiration for their 
fortitude, he writes them coldly down a '' fanatic sect 
of dangerous principles, who show no respect to any 
man, magistrate or other, and seem a melancholy, proud 
sort of people, and exceedingly ignorant." 

One year before this prison visit, little William Penn, 
a boy of eleven, enjoyed his first ghostly "manifesta- 
tion." There was "an external glory in the room," 
and the voice of the Lord rang in his ears and in his 
heart, summoning him to the life of the spirit, and to 
the relinquishment of earthly vanities. The visionary 
child, with his brilliant eyes, his fluent speech, his 
moods of strange abstraction, must have been a sore 
trial to his father, that hearty sailor. Sir William Penn, 
who, being himself singularly unvexed by nice distinc- 
tions of creed, failed, at any time, to understand what 
his troublesome son was worrying about. Vice-Admiral 
of England's navy at thirty-one. Sir William fought as 
valiantly and as blithely for Cromwell as for Charles. 
England's foes were his foes, and England's ruler was 
his ruler, and England's faith was his faith ; and it was 
certainly not a sailor's business to inquire too closely 
into these things, nor to meddle with church or state. 
The friend and associate of Mr. Samuel Pepys, — who 
at heart cordially detested him, — his careless gallantry 
to Mrs. Pepys aroused the jealousy of her neglectful 
and exacting husband. It was at Penn's house that 
Mr. Pepys supped so gayly one Sunday night — the 


Vice-Admirars brother, " a traveller and a merry man," 
being of the party — that the next morning found the 
wretched diarist sick and befuddled, with an aching 
head, and a spirit steeped in woe. Then came along 
Sir William, in nowise the worse for his potations, and, 
pitying the civilian's miserable plight, advised him jovi- 
ally to drink " two draughts of sack," as a sure remedy 
for his disorder, — which counsel Mr. Pepys promptly 
followed, and found the physic marvellously efficacious. 
Did little William peep in upon this scandalous sup- 
per party, and listen to the merry uncle's tales, made 
all the merrier by his mellow mood ? The boy was no 
youthful prig, for all his visions and manifestations. 
He was straight, and tall, and strong, loved athletic 
sports, had a fluctuating taste for cheerful company, 
and showed no lack of discernment anent things that 
were of the earth earthy. Between him and his father 
there existed a cordial understanding until at Oxford 
he began to attend the preaching of Thomas Fox, 
instead of going duly to the college service. This 
might have been passed over, but the immediate re- 
sults were of a character which demanded notice. 
Young Penn not only refused to wear his academic 
gown, — as savouring vaguely of i3relacy, — but he appar- 
ently refused to permit other students to wear theirs in 
peace ; and his attitude was so determined and annoy- 
ing — the gowns being unpopular at best — that he was 
sent down from college for nonconformity in 1661. 


Sir William, angry, distressed, and hopelessly be- 
wildered by what seemed to him much ado about noth- 
ing, decided, like a wise old worldling, not to make a 
martyr of his son by showing any grave displeasure, 
but to despatch him at once to France, where he might 
be trusted to quickly forget this unimaginable folly. 
To Paris accordingly went the youthful Penn, was pre- 
sented at the court of Louis XIV., enjoyed the new 
experience amazingly, and made a brave, boyish figure 
amid those brilliant scenes. In fact, when he returned 
to England, he was what Mr. Pepys termed a " modish 
person"; and we note in the diary a ring of amusing 
but very human displeasure at the admiration this 
"compleat young gentleman" never failed to excite. 
" Comes Mr. Penn to visit me," writes the unpacified 
Pepys. " I perceive something of learning he hath 
got ; but a great deal, if not too much, of the vanity of 
the French garb, and affected manner of speech and 

The cure being thus happily effected, Penn began to 
enjoy life in earnest, and found London very little 
behind Paris in affording the means of entertainment. 
The terrible advent of the Plague oppressed him, in- 
deed, not unnaturally, with " a deep sense of the vanity 
of the world " ; but he shook off this heavy-hearted- 
ness in Ireland, whither his father had sent him to 
look after the family estates, and where we find him 
presently fighting with carnal weapons — and in the 


gayest of spirits — to put down one of those period- 
ical uprisings which for many centuries have diversi- 
fied the monotony of Irish life. So well did this 
brief campaign please him, that he decided with 
swift incontinence to adopt the profession of arms, 
which decision was, 
strangely enough, 
combated by the sail- 
or father, who had 
destined his clever 
son for the civil ser- 
vice, and who was 
shrewd enough to 
know in what field a 
man's fortunes might 
be most rapidly ad- 
vanced. It was dur- 
ing the warlike 
episode of 1666 that 
the charming picture 
was painted which 
now seems so utterly at variance with Penn's career, 
and which, for that very reason perhaps, has been 
prized, and cherished, and duplicated, until it is pleas- 
antly familiar to us all. The original still hangs, it 
is said, on the walls of that stately home which John 
Penn the younger built for himself on the Isle of 
Portland, and which is now the seat of J. Merrick 

pbnn's crest 


Head, Esq. ; but the Pennsylvania Historical Society 
in Philadelphia possesses an excellent copy, and there 
is another at Tempsford Hall in Bedfordshire ; while 
Schoff's admirable engraving has found its way into 
hundreds of English and American homes. The 
half-length portrait in steel breastplate and lace 
cravat, with dark hair flowing loosely over the mail- 
clad shoulders, looks more like a cavalier than a 
Quaker. The brilliant eyes have the splendid confi- 
dence of youth ; a lurking smile is lost in the flexi- 
ble corners of the mouth. Altogether a gay and 
gallant young gentleman, and not unlike the portrait 
of the gay and gallant Admiral his father, which, 
painted by Sir Peter Lely, ruffles it in conscious 
pride on the walls of Greenwich Hospital. 

At the very time, however, that the world's vic- 
tory seemed securely won, it was on the eve of dis- 
comfiture. The ubiquitous and untiring Fox was 
preaching now in Ireland, and Penn's pietism, which 
had been either lulled to sleep by pleasure, or for- 
gotten in the tumult of hard work, awoke again to 
vehement life under the controlling influence of a 
religion which satisfied all the spiritual requirements 
of his nature. The doctrine of renunciation, the 
yielding up of worldly distinctions, — this had always 
seemed to him God's word spoken to the soul ; and 
once more, and for the last time, he turned resolutely 
away from a life filled to the brim with honourable 




ambitions and rewards. In a very few weeks we 
find him arrested for "riot and tumultuous assem- 
bling," — i.e., listening peaceably to Quaker ser- 
mons ; and — having not yet reached that point of 
sanctity when persecution becomes a pleasure — we 
find him also writing indignant letters to Lord 
Orrery, son of the Lord-Lieutenant, demanding an 
immediate release from jail. Six months later, Mr. 
Pepys records in his journal, this time with malicious 
satisfaction, — there is always something wliich does 
not displease us in the misfortunes of our friends, — 
that "Mr. Penn, who has lately come over from 
Ireland, is a Quaker again, or some such melancholy 

Sir William, exasperated beyond the limits of endur- 
ance, argued and entreated in vain. He was even then 
willing to temporize with his unmanageable son, being 
at heart sincerely indifferent as to what that son be- 
lieved, provided he would behave like other people, 
which was precisely what the ardent young convert de- 
clined to do. A compromise of the broadest kind was 
finally proposed. Sir William declared himself ready 
to close his eyes to all eccentricities — they were simply 
eccentricities to him — if Penn in return would consent 
to uncover to the King, to the Duke of York, and to 
himself. Penn stanchly refused, and left his father's 
roof for the troubled life of a nonconformist preacher 
in London. Mrs. Oliphant, who wrote an elaborate 


sketch of Philadelphia's Founder, marked by her usual 
anxious sense of justice, and by more than her usual 
lack of sympathy, intimated that, beyond some gentle 
ridicule, the Quakers suffered little persecution from 
English laws. But if any of us were called upon to 
endure as much to-day, I doubt not we should think it 
heavy enough. The Quakers were not burned, that is 
true, stakes and fagots being out of vogue since Mary's 
reign ; but fines and imprisonment grow wearisome to 
the spirit, and so Penn probably thought when he found 
himself committed to the Tower for the unlicensed pub- 
lication of " Sandy Foundations Shaken." 

The book made a profound impression upon many 
minds. Mrs. Pepys read it aloud to Mr. Pepys, who 
grows strangely serious in discussing it. It is well 
written, he thinks, so very well written that he can 
hardly understand how the young Penn came to write 
it ; yet it is a " serious sort of book, and not fit for 
everybody to read," — Mr. Pepys being of Lord Ches- 
terfield's opinion concerning those who disturb the 
serene convictions of society. The authorities consid- 
ered it eminently unfit for everybody, or for anybody, 
to read ; and its author, still in the Tower, defended his 
principles in " No Cross, no Crown," and in " Innocency 
with her Open Face," a charming title that sounds as 
though it had come straight from the " Faerie Queene." 

The good offices of the Duke of York finally pro- 
cured Penn's release from prison, and Sir William, a 



perfect model of long-suffering paternity, took him 
back into favour, his contempt for Quakerism being 
somewhat modified by the knowledge that it had in no- 
wise weakened his son's natural aptitude for business. 
So he paid, with what serenity he could muster, the 
fines that followed on each new indiscretion, kept him 
in charge of the Irish estates, and bequeathed to him, 
when he died, his blessing, an annual income of sixteen 
hundred pounds, and a claim of sixteen thousand 
pounds against the crown, to which happy, though by 
no means unusual circumstance, we owe our Quaker 
town. To wring money, especially a just debt, from 
the Merry Monarch was something that bordered closely 
on the impossible. Penn realized this as fully as his 
father had realized it before him ; and, pondering the 
matter over, there came to him the first faint outlines 
of a plan which, if carried out, might mean not wealth 
alone, but such distinction as his new faith permitted 
him to enjoy, and, above all, a peaceful haven from the 
petty persecutions which assailed him. For more and 
more, as his convictions grew and strengthened, had he 
come into sharp conflict with the unyielding majesty of 
the law, and he was not fitted by nature for the pas- 
sive role of sanctity. His father's blood ran hotly in 
his veins, and, far from suffering in silence, he lifted up 
his voice with remarkable fluency, and a lamentable lack 
of meekness, in behalf of the holy cause. A young man 
who would call the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford a " poor 


mushroom," must have studied but lamely the part of 
consistent and dutiful non-resistance. 

So the King was entreated to pay the Old World 
debt with a grant of New World land, and was by no 
means ready to consent to even this kingly compromise. 
Much pleading and long waiting well-nigh wore out 
the pleader's patience, before Charles, urged by the 
friendly Duke of York, set his royal seal in 1680 to the 
parchment which made William Penn governor and 
proprietor of a province whose boundaries were to be 
disputed for many years to come. The land was vested 
in Penn in fee simple, subject to the quit-rent of two 
beaver skins, and a fifth part of its gold and silver ore, 
— at which we Pennsylvanians smile to-day, thinking 
of those other mines which lay with their untold wealth 
beneath the fertile soil. The governor was invested by 
the charter with executive and legislative power, sub- 
ject to the control of the Privy Council, and to the 
" advice and consent of the freemen of the province," 
who were to help make the laws before they reverenced 
and obeyed them. Sylvania was the pretty name chosen 
for the forest-covered district, to which appellation 
Charles prefixed the Penn, and was so pleased with his 
royal jest that he refused to relinquish it. So " Pen- 
silvania,'* as it is spelled in the original cliarter, like 
Baltimore, enshrines its founder's memory, and affords 
a welcome relief from the perpetual " New," — New 
York, New England, New Jersey, New Orleans, — which 


our unimaginative ancestors were never weary of re- 
peating with monotonous loyalty to their lost homes. 

Matters having been brought to this successful issue, 
Penn applied himself immediately to a threefold task. 
He despatched his cousin William Markham, an officer 
in the King's navy, as deputy governor, to the province, 
to inspect its condition, to report upon its possibilities, 
to choose a site for '' a fair city," and above all to assure 


the Germans, Swedes, and English already settled along 
the Delaware that there should be no infringement upon 
their rights and privileges. The young Proprietor 
next drew up his first prospectus, addressed to the Free 
Society of Traders, in which he was exceedingly ex- 
plicit and businesslike concerning the cost of the trip, 
the buying and renting of land, the chances offered to 
agricultural and mechanical labour ; only permitting 
himself a few words of gentle allurement when describ- 


ing the country he had never seen, — a country, he 
said, teeming with fish and game, and " six hundred 
miles nearer the sun than England," which truth prob- 
ably impressed itself forcibly upon the colonists' minds 
when their first July came around. The result of this 
excellent advertising was the almost immediate sale of 
five hundred and sixty-five thousand acres of land, in 
lots of from two hundred and fifty to twenty thousand 

A still more congenial occupation to the long-harassed 
and persecuted Quaker was the framing of a constitu- 
tion, of a code of laws which should temper justice with 
mercy, and restrain ill-doing, while it permitted the 
widest possible freedom to every citizen. In this labour 
of love Penn was nobly assisted by Algernon Sidney, 
and, between them, they produced those statutes which 
Montesquieu has so infelicitously compared to the laws 
of Lycurgus, but which in truth were far more distin- 
guished by leniency than by Spartan rigour. At a time 
when every convicted thief was promptly hanged in 
England, Penn found no crime save murder to warrant 
the death sentence. The clauses which punished pro- 
fane swearing, intemperance, and card playing ; and 
which strictly forbade the "drinking of healths," 
"stage plays," — of which there were none, — "masks 
and revels," and all "evil sports and games," — even 
the innocent old games of May-day, were added to the 
original code by the first Assembly, which met to rep- 



resent the '' freemen of the province " in 1682. A 
rather unruly Assembly this, and as troublesome as 
freemen and their representatives were ever wont to 
be. It marred Fenn's beloved constitution with a 
number of rigid little rules and regulations to promote 
sanctity, or the pretence of 
sanctity, before it permitted 
his statutes to pass into the 
'^ Great Law." Yet even in 
this altered form he was so 
strenuously attached to it 
that, as soon as the first 
schoolhouses were built in 
Philadelphia, he ordered it 
should be read aloud to all 
the boys and girls every scho- 
lastic year. 

In one respect alone the 
code remained unchanged. 
There was to be tolerance in 
the new colony for every form 
of Christian belief ; " free- 
dom," as Gabriel Thomas aptly phrased it, " for all 
persuasions in a sober and civil way." This tolerance 
was so far in advance of its generation, that it awoke 
surprise and consternation rather than universal de^ 
liglit. The New World had been as ready as the Old 
to lay a chastening hand upon every unsanctioned and 



unwelcome creed, and in more than one instance the 
colonists had thoroughly enjoyed dispensing to others 
the hard fare they had received at home. Only Lord 
Baltimore and Roger Williams, strangely indifferent to 
the blessed privilege of " doing as you have been done 
by," proclaimed in Maryland and Rhode Island the 
absolute liberty granted to every subject of the King 
to worship God as he or she thought right. Quaker, 
Baptist, and Roman Catholic stood side by side, the 
pioneers of religious freedom in America. 

To Penn, at least, it all seemed so natural, so reason- 
able, and so right. He was but thirty-six when the 
King signed that memorable parchment deed, and his 
heart beat high with hope as the peaceful city of his 
dreams shaped itself slowly into a realized ambition. 
He had married a wife of his own faith, the daughter 
of Sir William Springett of Brayle Place, Ringmere, 
Sussex. She had a charming Italian name, Gulielma 
Maria, a beautiful face, and a pious disposition. She 
bore him children, children who were still too young to 
bring sorrow and heartbreak in their train. A man in 
his early prime, with superb health, an ample fortune, 
an honourable career, and, above and beyond all, a 
mission — a mission in which he firmly believed, and 
for which he ardently desired success — what wonder 
that Penn felt an exultant "uplifting of the spirit" 
when he looked westward over the great grey seas 
to the land of promise, to the visionary city of peace ! 




XT was on a quiet afternoon in the autumn of 1681 
that three ships lay in London harbour, making 
ready for a protracted voyage, fraught with some 
danger and every possible discomfort. Past these 
vessels came the royal barge, its silken banners flut- 
tering in the breeze ; and the King, noticing the 
swift bustle of departure, asked what ships they 
were, and whither they were bound? On being told 
that they bore the first Quaker emigrants to Penn- 
sylvania, Charles had the barge rowed closer, and 
gravely, yet with mirthful eyes, bestowed his princely 
blessing on the decorous groups, who stood, their 
heads covered, but their hearts filled with serious 
emotion, to receive it. They understood clearly 
enough that the good-natured monarch had always 
wished them well, and that the persecutions they 
had suffered were not of his contriving. Indeed, it 
is little wonder that both Charles and his less affable 
and less tolerant brother should have sincerely liked 



the Quakers, who seldom gave any trouble, took no 
part in public life, and shrank from the noisy quar- 
rels of worldlings. With a strange indifference to 
science, to wit, to learning, and to literature, they 
combined a breadth of vision, a sane tolerance of 
humanity, and an instinctive knowledge of what we 
are apt to consider the principles of purely modern 
philanthropy. " Since the time of the primitive 
Christians," says Mr. Sydney Fisher, "there never 
had been such apostles of gentleness. They were a 
striking contrast to the Puritans, every one of whom 
was a restless politician, whose religion included a 
theory of civil government which he felt it his duty 
to enforce." 

So Charles gave his blessing with the kindliest 
good-will to these innocent non-combatants, who, 
their hearts full of hope, their hands unstained by 
blood, set sail with the outgoing tide for the far- 
away shores of America. It would have been more 
picturesque had Penn accompanied them, but he 
remained in London, busy with the sale of land, 
and with schemes for the advancement of the 
colony. The three little ships carried with them in 
his place three commissioners, a plan of the proposed 
city, and a conciliatory letter to the Delaware In- 
dians, Avho had always claimed these heavily wooded 
tracts as their favourite hunting-ground. Friendly 
Indians they were for the most part, who had been 


conquered years before and reduced to subjection by 
the victorious Five Nations, and who were, moreover 
accustomed to the sight of white men dwelling 
within their territory. There was little trouble to 
be apprehended from them, unless goaded by un- 
kindness into hostility, and the Quakers were not 
settlers likely to arouse the fierce passion of resent- 
ment in the Red Man's bosom. They regarded him, 
neither as an unwarranted interloper, which is our 
modern point of view, nor as accursed of God, and 
cut off from all mercy in Heaven or on earth, which 
was the gentle conviction of the Puritan. • They 
made allowances for his being an Indian, since it 
had pleased God to create him one ; and they con- 
ceived that he was not without some claim to the 
land which Providence had granted him for his own. 
These extraordinary sentiments — the strangest her- 
esy ever yet carried from the Old World to the 
New — bore lasting fruit in the good- will shown to 
Pennsylvania's colony by its savage neighbours. The 
early history of the Quaker City is almost ignomini- 
ous in its peacefulness, monotonous in its unvarying, 
uninteresting prosperity. By the side of infant Phil- 
adelphia, so quiet and so well behaved, the story of 
infant New Orleans reads like some long fairy tale, 
in which the picturesque, the marvellous, the sinister, 
and the lawless, contend on every glowing page for 


Yet the decorous record of the little settlement on 
the Delaware is not without its sober charm, a charm 
to be sought for in minute detail and simple inci- 
dent. With incredible speed, the colonists, who had 
first found shelter in caves along the river's bank, 
built themselves log cabins and frame houses, chilly, 
capacious, strong. The emigration increased rapidly. 
Twenty-three ships sailed from England to Pennsyl- 
vania in 1682, and by the close of 1683, three hun- 
dred and fifty-seven houses had been erected in 
Philadelphia. Already, though but three years old, 
it had become the city of homes. But the first 
child of English parents was born in a cave, after- 
wards used as a rude tavern, and called the "Penny- 
pot." To this child, John Key, Penn presented a lot 
of ground, and he lived to be eighty-five years old, 
and was known as the "first born" to the day of 
his death, though by that time early traditions and 
landmarks were rapidly disappearing from the town. 
When Penn arrived in November, 1682, he found his 
colony so well advanced, its surroundings so tranquil 
and beautiful, that in his enthusiasm he pronounced 
the country worthy of Abraham, and Isaac, and 
Jacob ; a land overflowing with the visible mercies 
of God. " Oh ! how sweet is the quiet of these 
parts, freed from the anxious and troublesome solici- 
tations, hurries, and perplexities of woeful Europe," 
he wrote joyously, and no doubt sincerely, being as 




yet new to the situation, and unaware of the persist- 
ence with which " woeful Europe " tugs at the 
heartstrings of an exile. The "fair mansion-house" 
of Pennsbury had not yet been begun, but he built the 
demure little Letitia House for his winter quarters, 
promising himself, doubtless, many years of peaceful 

"the demure little letitia house 

and congenial labour in the city which owed him 
her existence. His letter of 1683, to the Free Soci- 
ety of Traders, gives unstinted praise to the new 
province ; its game, its fruit, its abundant crops, its 
oysters "six inches long," its pure and wholesome 
water, (alas ! alas !) and its charming climate, which 
we might imagine had altered strangely since those 
halcyon days, were it not for another letter — a 


private missive this time to Lord North — in which 
Penn ruefully confesses that " the weather often 
changeth without notice, and is constant almost in 
its inconstancy." " No climate at all," as M. 
Bourget wittily expresses it, — " only samples of 

The meeting of the first Assembly, which adopted 
Penn's code with many modifications, the unsuccessful 
attempt to settle the boundary line between Pennsyl- 
vania and Maryland, and the famous treaty with the 
Indians at Shackamaxon engrossed the governor's 
attention. The treaty is one of those historic facts 
or fictions, the details of which we are taught to believe 
as children, and to doubt as adults, with the result that 
we are credulous or sceptical according to our mental 
attitudes. Tliose for whom it is the sole incident 
that emerges from the mist of long-forgotten lessons 
are naturally unwilling to relinquish a single circum- 
stance, not even the broad blue sash, Penn's only 
emblem of authority. If there be no evidence beyond 
tradition for the support of the truth, there is no shadow 
of improbability, and there are no conflicting state- 
ments to give tradition the lie. The loss of the 
original document is of scant significance, for little 
importance was attached to it at the time, and many 
papers shared its fate in those early careless days. 
The fact that the speech assigned to Penn was really 
uttered by him twenty years later, is but an instance 



of the way in which history is made, the natural and 
admirable process by which anything that will harmo- 
nize is woven into the narrative. Nothing can be 
clearer than the story as it has come down to us, — the 
story of a great treaty made and kept. The Indians 
cherished its memory for generations ; the Quakers 
were justly proud of a deed that did them infinite 
credit ; and the Englisli have always vied with Ameri- 
cans in honouring a compact which, as Voltaire lucidly 
remarked, was "the only treaty between savages and 
Christians that had not been ratified by an oath, and 
that was never broken." 

When the English army occupied Philadelphia in 
1777, a guard was placed before the "Treaty Elm," 
to preserve it from the evil chances of war. The picture 
by which West has so deeply offended antiquarians 
has at least familiarized many of us with that famous 
tree, and with all that happened beneath its spreading 
branches. Penn was, indeed, at the time, no corpulent 
old man in full-skirted coat and broad-brimmed hat ; 
but tall, athletic, well formed, and, notwithstanding 
his Quaker creed, extremely fastidious about dress, 
especially about his curled and flowing wigs ; — " the 
liandsomest, best-looking, and liveliest of gentlemen," 
says an old chronicler, " affable and friendly with the 
humblest. " 

Friendly wdth the Indians he certainly was, winning 
their affection by his kindness, and their respect by 


his activity and endurance. The undeviating policy 
of conciliation which he pursued for years ensured the 
docility of the savages, and the consequent safety of 
an unarmed community, which went about its daily 
toil as unmolested as though it lived in the heart of 
civilization. There have not been lacking virtuous 
voices to protest against Penn's inadequate payment 
for land of which the Indians never realized the value ; 
but as so few colonists were in the habit of paying 
anything at all, or of acknowledging any claim, save 
their own, to provinces granted them by the crown, 
it seems hardly worth while to save up our resentment 
for the one man who gave what was demanded. 

It was not from Indians that Penn suffered his 
keenest disappointments, but from those whose lasting 
gratitude he had rashly hoped to win. Already the 
bickerings had begun which were destined to over- 
shadow his life. Already he found it a difficult matter 
to please his colonists, to control the Assembly, to have 
his own way about anything. " Is it not the general 
history of colonies," says that garrulous old chronicler, 
John Watson, " to whine and fret like wayward chil- 
dren, to give immeasurable trouble and expense to 
rear them to maturity, and then to reward the parental 
care with alienation ? " If this be true, Pennsylvania 
was certainly no exception to the rule. Penn loved 
the province he had founded, the goodly city he had 
helped to build. He hoped to make her beautiful as 



well as prosperous, and had dreamed of a noble river 
front along the Delaware, of a promenade and a public 
park, with the trees of the forest primeval spreading 
their mighty branches over the cooling waves. The 
steady encroachment of warehouses and shipping 
yards upon this river front, the inevitable triumph of 

"over the cooling wave" 

the commercial over the picturesque, chagrined him 
deeply. But before ever the buildings rose frowning 
and ugly on the bank, there were more urgent anxie- 
ties to mar his peace of mind. Among them was the 
still unsettled boundary line, which promised endless 
trouble in the future. Lord Baltimore being a man 
loath to relinquish his territorial rights, and not 


easily moved by arguments or solicitations. It seemed 
Penn's wisest course to return to England, and lay 
the matter once more before the Privy Council. 
Other questions arose which required his presence in 
London. He had left his wife and family in the Old 
World, not without serious misgivings ; for Gulielma 
Maria, pious and beautiful though she was, had her 
share of gentle feminine weaknesses, all of which are 
hinted at very plainly in the long letter of instruction 
which Penn wrote for her guidance in his absence. 
He entreats her, for example, to be more regular at 
her meals ; to have her dinner served promptly at the 
appointed hour ; to " guard against encroaching friend- 
ships," which lead to lamentable waste of time ; and, 
above all, to forbear grieving herself with careless 
servants ; — excellent but futile advice, easier at any 
time to give than to obey. So back to "woeful 
Europe," which seemed a little less woful after two 
years' absence, back to household cares and to graver 
issues went Penn in 1684. He intended to rejoin the 
colony within a twelvemonth. He remained in Eng- 
land nearly fifteen years. 



A COMPACT little town as level as the sands of 
the desert ; narrow streets running evenly from 
east to west, and from north to south, intersecting each 
other with monotonous regularity like the lines which 
mark out the squares on a checkerboard ; houses built 
of wood or of bright red brick, as much alike as the 
sea-god's daughters, — '^ as the faces of sisters should 
be." A town built between two rivers ; the broad and 
beautiful Delaware rolling on one side to the sea, and, 
on the other, barely two miles away, the placid little 
Schuylkill, unskirted yet by human habitation, un- 
tainted by mill, or mine, or factory, Avinding, a sylvan 
stream, through woods of oak and chestnut. There 
was much comfort and scant luxury within the red 
brick houses. Not a carpet nor a rug for many years 
upon the sanded floors. Heavy English furniture in 
the low-ceilinged rooms, pewter dishes on the shelves, 
huge logs burning merrily in the wide fireplaces, good 
food, and plenty of it, in the larders. For to the game, 
and fish, and six-inch-long oysters, the colonists had 
added swiftly the Indian delicacies, — corn, and liominy, 







A.D. 1682. 
















and the delicious succotash. Mighty drinkers they 
were, too, in their own sober fashion, consuming vast 
quantities of ale and spirits, and making no serious 
inroads on the " pure and wholesome " water ; although 
we are gravely assured that particular pumps, one on 
Walnut Street, and one in Norris Alley, were held in 
especial favour, as having the best water in the town 
for the legitimate purpose of boiling greens. The first 
beer was made from molasses, and we have Penn's 
assurance that when "well boyled, with Sassafras or 
Pine infused into it, this is a very tolerable drink," 
— which we should never have supposed. Rum punch 
was also in liberal demand ; and, after a few years, the 



thirsty colonists began to brew real ale, and drank it 
out of deep pewter mugs, such as still adorn the 
shelves of English rural inns. 

It was a community where good wages Avere paid to 
all Avho toiled honestly with their hands, but where 
brain workers were not greatly in demand. Farmers 
and mechanics were made welcome ; " but of lawyers 
and physicians," writes Gabriel Thomas, " I shall say 
nothing, because the Country is very Peaceable and 
Healthy. Long may it so continue, and never have 
occasion for the Tongue of the one, nor the Pen of the 
other, both equally destructive to men's estates and 
lives." We know, alas ! how Bradford, the printer, 
fared in a town where there was practically nothing to 
print, yet which had advanced beyond her sister cities 
in New York, Maryland, and Virginia, by the mere 
possession of a press. Bradford came to Philadelphia 
in 1685, struggled for eight years with almanacs and 
an occasional pamphlet ; and then — Satan finding mis- 
chief for his idle hands to do — embroiled himself hope- 
lessly ill religious and political dissensions, which made 
him an exile for the remainder of his life. 

The wages paid to women in the colony were dis- 
proportionately high, because young girls were sought 
so eagerly in marriage that female servants were always 
needed, and always hard to keep. Thomas enthusiasti- 
cally describes little Philadelphia — then in her seven- 
teenth year — as a sort of terrestrial paradise, and not 


altogether unlike the happy village of the bucolic 
drama. " Here are no beggars to be seen," he writes, 
" nor indeed has anyone the least temptation to take up 
that scandalous, lazy life. Jealousy among men is very 
rare, nor are old maids to be met with ; for all com- 
monly marry before they are twenty years of age. The 
Christian children born here are generally well favoured 
and beautiful to behold. I never knew any with the 
least blemish." One is irresistibly reminded, as one 
reads, of Prester John, and the blameless people whom 
he ruled. "No vice is tolerated in our land, and, with 
us, no one lies." 

It is but fair to record, however, that the praises of 
the local historian receive earnest confirmation from at 
least one stranger whom the perils of the sea had flung 
upon our hospitable shores. In 1710, Richard Castel- 
man, having suffered shipwreck on a voyage from Ber- 
muda, came to Philadelphia, and was so delighted with 
all he saw that he remained for many months, writing a 
minute account of his adventures, his " miraculous es- 
cape," and of the peaceful haven to which the kindly 
fates had led him. Castleman's eulogiums are as loving 
and as lavish as those of Gabriel Thomas. He does not 
even acknowledge that " inconstancy " of the climate 
which Penn lamented, but stoutly affirms the sky to be 
" rarely overcast," and the air " so healthy that there is 
no occasion for physicians, the people finding cures for 
their accidental diseases by simples." Even the horses 


are stronger and less liable to sickness than in England. 
Game of every kind is plentiful throughout the prov- 
ince, and he particularly admires " a creature called a 
Possum, tliat has a false belly into which the young 
retire in time of danger."" 

As for the town itself, it is, though not yet thirty 
years old, " a noble, large, and populous city," having 
houses "that cost six thousand pounds the building." 
Here " all religions are tolerated, which is one means to 
increase the riches of the place " ; here " a journeyman 
taylor has twelve shillings a week, besides his board " ; 
and here " even the meanest single women marry well, 
and, being above want, are above work." "If the dis- 
tressed people of England knew the comforts of this 
colony, and the easy means there is of a livelihood, they 
would never stay where they are, in a continual scene 
of poverty and misery." 

When the days were w^arm, INIr. Castelman was wont 
to seek recreation in walking "with some of the Town" 
to Faire Mount, " a charming spot, shaded with trees, 
on the river Schuylkill " ; and he can find no Avords 
glowing enough in which to describe the beautiful 
country that stretched for many miles along the river's 
bank. Altogether, he is plainly of the opinion that 
his lines are cast in pleasant places, and it is with 
keen regret that he meditates a departure from new- 
found, hospitable friends. "The generosity of the 
Pliiladelphians is rooted in their natures," he writes 



warmly, " for it is the greatest crime among them not 
to show the utmost civility to strangers ; and if I were 
obliged to live out of my native country, I should not 
long be puzzled in finding a place of retirement, which 
should be Philadelphia. There the oppressed in fort- 



une or principles may find a happy Asylum, and drop 
quietly to their graves without fear or want." 

The " well-favoured " Christian children born in this 
peaceful community had their young lives saddened by 
being sent as regularly and pitilessly to school as if 
merry England had been their home ; for the Quaker 
colonists were equally averse to extremes of ignorance 
or of erudition. Before Philadelphia was five years of 


age she had her first institution of learning, a very 
small and humble one, kept by Enoch Flower, whose 
modest charges varied with the amount he was expected 
to impart. For four shillings a quarter, the child was 
taught to read ; for six shillings, to read and write ; 
for eiglit shillings, to read, write, and cast accounts. 
Beyond these standard accomplishments. Master Flower 
wisely declined to lead his little flock. In 1G89 the 
Friends established their grammar school, and placed 
George Keith, a Scotch Quaker, at its head. His 
salary was a good one : fifty pounds a year, with 
dwelling and schoolhouse provided, and twice that sum 
for two years, if he would consent to teach the children 
of the poor separately, without charge. There was no 
royal and smooth paved road to learning in those days. 
The little scholars took their first reluctant steps along 
the dismal pathway of the New England Primer. 

« In Adam's fall, 
We sinned all. 

" Job feels the rod, 
Yet blesses God. 

" Xerxes the great did die, 
And so must you and I." 

After weary weeks spent in grappling with this theo- 
logical alphabet, — during which they freely shared 
Job's privilege, — the reward of actually learning to 
read was the cheerless history of John Rogers, burned 


at the stake for heresy, while the pathetic picture of his 
wife with "nine small children, and one at the breast," 
added unutterable gloom to the narrative. 

George Keith, waxing fat in the fulness of his salary, 
proved himself a troublesome colonist. Like a true 
Scottish " unco gude," he felt the piety of his neighbours 
to be of an inconsistent and unsatisfactory character ; 
so founded his own little sect of " Christian Quakers," 
thus relegating his former brethren into the darkness 
of heathenism, an innuendo which they were not slow 
to resent. The schoolmaster was accused in Meeting of 
" enmity, wrath, self -exalt at ion, contention, and jan- 
gling," — a long indictment, — and also of making the 
Friends whom he reviled " a scorn to the profane, and 
the song of the drunkards," the meaning of which 
words they probably understood. After much animated 
quarrelling he returned to England, abandoned the 
Quaker creed, took orders in the Anglican church, and 
became Penn's most bitter opponent, arousing by every 
means in his power that sharp animosity which led to 
the Proprietor's being temporaril}^ deprived of his prov- 
ince. In return, Keith has been roundly abused by 
Voltaire, who condescended to pelt his insignificance 
into notice. " The wretch was doubtless possessed of 
the devil, for he dared to preach intolerance," said the 
great Frenchman, — himself the most genuinely intol- 
erant of mortals. 

After the departure of this Scottish firebrand from 



Philadelphia, the .little grammar school flourished 
bravely under the care of less pharisaical masters, 
and the system of education organized by the Friends 
has been eminently successful for more than two 
hundred years. Like the Jesuits, — in this regard if 
in no other, — they have shown exceptional skill in 
teaching and controlling the young. 



"the mkkting-house ' 

Side by side with the schoolhouse arose the meeting- 
house, the church, and the prison, amply providing for 
the needs of all classes of society. For twelve years 
an ordinary frame dwelling was the only jail the town 
possessed, and it was oftenest empty. Indeed, the 
prison at Third and High streets was never finished 


and placed at the disposal of criminals until 1723 ; 
but in the interval they found both public and private 
accommodation. " A cage seven foot high, seven foot 
long, and seven foot broad" was constructed for 
the evil-doer, who dwelt temporarily therein, like a 
monkey at the Zoo; being taken out with due formality 
to be "smartly whipped," — perhaps for selling drink 
to Indians, perhaps for watering the white man's rum, 
both of them offences of which the law took especial 
cognizance. Twenty shillings was the fine imposed 
for working on the Sabbath day, ten shillings for being 
drunk on the Sabbath day, and twelve pence for smok- 
ing upon the streets on any day of the week. In 1702 
George Robinson, a butcher, was fined for "uttering 
two very bad curses " ; and, for presenting a paper 
which was deemed disrespectful to the Council, An- 
thony Weston was whipped in the market-place three 
days, receiving but ten lashes each day, thus suffering 
as much ignominy and as little pain as could be easily 
held together. It is well to remember, however, that 
these public whippings were charged for at the exor- 
bitant rate of six shillings each, and that the offender 
was compelled to pay for the unwelcome service done 
him, — a touch of ironical thrift which fully justifies 
Lamb's admiration for the latent humour of Quakers. 
Could Anthony Weston have taken his thirty lashes 
at once, he would have l)een far easier in his mind, 
and full twelve shillings richer. 


As years went by, the criminal code became more 
severe, and the death sentence, which Penn had allot- 
ted to murderers only, was inflicted upon counterfeiters 
and highway robbers. Nor were the colonists dis- 
posed, like their successors to-day, to wax sentimental 
over female malefactors. They held women to be as 
accountable as men before the law, and punished their 
offences with impartial alacrity. In 1720 John and 
Martha Hunt were convicted of making counterfeit 
dollars, and both were promptly hanged, to the 
unqualified satisfaction of honest and law-abiding 

If real crimes, however, were visited with careful 
retribution, imaginary ones created but little excite- 
ment in a community too sane for fanaticism. The 
Quaker colonist, indeed, devoutly believed in the 
possibility of witchcraft ; he enacted laws against 
witches ; but he hanged no witch. The opportunity 
was given him at the very outset of his career, and he 
passed it lightly by. In 1683 two Swedish women, 
Margaret Mattson and Yeshro Hendrickson, were 
accused of sorcery, Penn presiding as governor at the 
trial. The prisoners were ready, after the painful 
fashion of such culprits, to admit their guilt ; but the 
unmoved Friends declined to credit them with super- 
natural powers. Tlie verdict was alike in both cases ; 
vaguely worded, but satisfactory, and a miracle of 
sturdy common sense. *' Guilty of having the common 


fame of a witch, but not guilty in the manner and 
form as she stands indicted." 

This was a heavy blow to would-be warlocks, who 
found it difficult to thrive in an atmosphere of calm 
depreciation. They made frantic efforts from time 
to time, but with no dramatic success. In vain a 
negro arrogantly announced that he had sold himself 
to Satan. The colonists prayed over him, and strove 
with reasonable perseverance to banish the evil spirit ; 
but they declined to grant him the public honour of 
a hanging. In vain a white man affirmed that he 
was to be carried, body and soul, to hell, at six P.M. 
An idle crowd, foredoomed to disappointment, assem- 
bled to witness his departure ; but the authorities 
took no notice of the circumstance, and showed a most 
mortifying indifference as to whether he went or 
stayed. Even the phantom coach, which the super- 
stitious averred was driven by a demon at midnight 
through the silent Quaker streets, awoke but lanquid 
curiosity; and little wonder, when we consider how 
mild was the guilt of its ghostly occupant. " He was 
deemed," says the old narrative, "to have died with 
unkind feelings towards one dependent on him." If 
the town could boast no villain and no villany more 
picturesquely lurid than this, it had scant right to super- 
natural honours, to a cavalcade of spectres and evil 
spirits like the dark procession which bore with dread- 
ful pomp and rejoicing the soul of the terrible, brave 



old Laird of Lag down to its final doom. The legends 
which cling so naturally and sympathetically to the 
blood-stained soil of Scotland seem trivial and pitifully 
incongruous in the daylight atmosphere of our peaceful 
and prosperous colony. 

The history of Philadelphia's churches is much 
longer and more disturbing than the history of her 
crimes and prisons. It is a record of quarrelsome 
Christian piety, which lacked on the one side the 
power, and on the other side the desire, to be keenly 
and consistently intolerant. The Quaker settlers had, 
indeed, hoped to establish a community where abso- 
lute freedom of conscience should silence the voice 
of discord. This was the "Holy Experiment" on 
which their hearts were set, and in pursuance of this 
amiable design they forbore, as far as possible, to 
meddle with any man's religion. Emigrants of every 
persecuted creed flocked hopefully to the new Ar- 
cadia. The Mennonites settled in Germantown, and 
Pastorius the schoolmaster, with wise eloquence and 
gentle ways, held them aloof from worldlings. The 
Dunkards joined them" after a few years, and the 
pretty straggling village with its substantial homes, 
its roomy gardens, its one long street, bordered by 
blossoming peach trees, possessed from the very be- 
ginning a charm which it has never wholly lost. 
The Moravians who founded Bethlehem made it the 
garden spot of Pennsylvania, and kept the best inns 



— a proud distinction — in the province. Even the 
devout and mystic hermits, known as the " Society 
of the Woman of the Wilderness," came gladly over 
from Germany — which did not at all want them — 
and settled in the beautiful glades of the Wissa- 
hickon, where they awaited the coming of the Mil- 
lennium, and, in the interval, dabbled unmolested in 
astrology, fortune-telling, and the mildest of mild 
magic. The Welsh wisely chose the Schuylkill's 
lovely banks, and built the little church of St. David- 
at Radnor, ^ two hundred years ago. 



" Dim and small 
Is the space that serves for the Shepherd's fold; 
The narrow aisle, the bare white wall, 
The pews and the pulpit quaint and tall 
Whisper and say : ' Alas ! we are old.' " * 

Old St. David's." Longfellow. 


The Roman Catholics, who were well outside the 
pale of Christian clemency at home, stole over the 
sea quietly, and in small numbers, to discover whether 
or not the City of Brotherly Love held any charity 
for them. Penn's tolerance extended even to the 
Papacy. He loved and served a Catholic king loy- 
ally for years, and he was willing enough that Cath- 
olics should practise their own rites, provided they 
did so secretly, and in a manner that would give no 
scandal, and create no disturbance. More than this 
he had not the power to grant, for any open conces- 
sions were met by fierce hostility, both at home, 
where the Anglican party protested with vehemence 
against such dangerous lenity, and in England, where 
the old maxim, " Avoid Papishers, and learn to 
knit," was still held to embody sound morality and 
wisdom. There is something truly pathetic in the 
anxious letter which Penn writes from London to 
James Logan on the subject in 1708. Angry voices 
are at work maligning the colony, and seeking to 
bring it into disfavour. "With these is a complaint 
against your government, that you suffer public Mass 
in a scandalous manner. Pray send the matter of 
fact, for ill-use is made of it against us here." 

There can be little doubt that for many years be- 
fore the building of St. Joseph's Church in Willing's 
Alley, 1733, — a church as carefully hidden away as 
a martyr's tomb in the Catacombs — the Roman 


Catholics worshipped in small chapels which lay often 
beyond the town limits, and had the outward appear- 
ance of shops and dwelling-houses. The open appre- 
hension with which they were regarded by all except 
the Quakers was destined later to assume odious and 
terrible proportions ; and among those who helped to 
fan the flame of mad intolerance was the eloquent 
and hostile Whitefield, who preached out of doors to 
vast and eager crowds, — fifteen hundred people as- 
sembling at a time to hear him. He it was who 
succeeded in closing for a while ball-room and con- 
cert hall, and who deprived the good people of Phil- 
adelphia, not only of all amusements, but of all weak 
desire to be amused. And he it was who broadened 
and deepened the breach between Protestantism and 
Catholicity in the peaceful Quaker town. " He 
strikes much at priestcraft, and speaks very satiri- 
cally of Papists," writes Mr. James Pemberton in 
1739 ; adding, with the exquisite serenity of the 
Friend and non-combatant : " His intentions are good, 
but he has not yet arrived at such perfection as to 
see so far as he yet may." 

An eloquent proof of the ill-will aroused in Eng- 
land by the repeated protests of the Christ Church 
party against the tolerance of the proprietary gov- 
ernment may be found in a letter printed in the 
"London Magazine," 1737, which charges the growth 
of Romanism in the province to the weakness and in- 


differeiu'o of the Q linkers, and which vehemently 
demands reform. The letter is brimful of religious 
wrath, and gives us a very accurate idea of how 
gossip travelled in those tardy days. 

"As I join with you about the Quakers," writes 
this devout correspondent, " I shall give you a 
small specimen of a notable step taken towards the 
Propagation of Popery abroad ; and as I have it 
from a gentleman who has lived for many years in 
Pennsylvania, I confide in the truth of it ; let the 
Quakers deny it if they can. In the Town of Phil- 
adelphia, in that Colony, is a Publick Popish Chapel, 
where that Religion has free and open exercise ; and 
in it all the superstitious Rites of that Church are 
as avowedly performed as those of the Church of 
England are in the Royal Chapel at St. James. 
And this Chapel is open, not only upon Fasts and 
Festivals, but it is so all day, and every day in the 
week, and exceedingly frequented at all Hours, 
either for publick or private devotion. . . . That 
these are Truths, (whatever use you are pleased to 
make of them) you may at any time be satisfied by 
any Trader or Gentleman who has been there within 
a few years, (except he be a Quaker) at the Caro- 
lina and Pennsylvania Coffee-House, near the Royal 

Little did it profit the Friends to be so peacefully in- 
clined towards every Christian creed, when their neigh- 


bours repudiated with scorn this policy of concession. 
The Rev. Colin Campbell, secretary of the " London 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts," complains bitterly in one of his reports that 
Quakerism in Pennsylvania is but a " nursery of Jes- 
uits " ; and the Rev. John Talbot, who held for years 
the same pious post, accuses Penn openly of being " a 
greater Antichrist than Julian the Apostate, inasmuch 
as instead of striving to convert the Indians to the 
faith, he labours to make Christians heathens, and 
proclaims liberty and privileges to all that believe in one 

Among the hosts of emigrants who flocked from the 
Old World to try their fortunes in the New, the Scotch- 
Irish Presbyterians had least patience with the gentle 
tolerance of the Quakers whom they regarded with un- 
concealed aversion and contempt. Men of brawn and 
muscle were these Scotch-Irish colonists, strong of pur- 
pose, steadfast in action, brave, thrifty, and intelligent ; 
but, on the other hand, quarrelsome, arrogant, and ex- 
ceedingly hostile to the Indians, whom they promptly 
antagonized by rough treatment, and to whom they 
showed scant equity, and scantier compassion. It be- 
came, in time, a difficult matter to keep the peace with 
savages, perpetually angered by encroachments and 
high-handed injustice. 

The two most interesting places of worship now 
standing in Philadelphia are Christ Church and Gloria 







Dei, — the first because of the important part it has 
played in the history of the colony, and the second 
because of its old age and curious associations. Five 
years before Penn sent his first ships over the sea, the 
pious Swedes had established a congregation, and met 
for service in a rude blockhouse, built of logs, and 
pierced with narrow loopholes, 
through which attacking Indians 
might be spied and shot. On 
the site of this primitive chapel 
they built in 1700 a brick church, 
costing twenty thousand Swed- 
ish dollars, which, at the time, 
was deemed " a great edifice, and 
finest in the town." Poor and 
few as were these simple wor- 
shippers, they gave fifteen thou- 
sand dollars before the first stone 
was laid in place ; and, with that 
laudable shrinking from debt 
which has ceased to harass the modern church builder, 
they left the belfry unfinished, " in order to see 
whether God will bless us so far that we may have a 
bell, and in what manner we can procure it." The 
antique marble font of Gloria Dei was once the sole 
adornment of the blockhouse chapel, and in the 
graveyard which surrounds its venerable walls are 
huddled close together mouldy and crumbling tomb- 



stones, from many of which the wind and weather have 
worn away all records of the forgotten dead. We read 
on one the name of a little child who died in 1708, 
nearly two centuries ago, when Anne ruled over Eng- 
land, and Marlborough carried the might of English 
arms past the Flemish frontier into France. 

A keener and more combative interest attaches itself 
to Christ Church, which was for many years the sole 
rallying point of the Anglican party, a church militant 
in a peaceful community, and a standing peril to the 
dominant Quaker power. Its congregation, small in 
numbers, was strong in intelligence, in sustained hos- 
tility, and in the support of the English government. 
It was natural that such men should find much to anger 
them in the new province. They had expected the 
Quakers to claim complete tolerance for their own wor- 
ship, and they were prepared to concede as much with 
a good grace ; but they had never anticipated this 
strange, serene, perverse colony, where all creeds were 
on an absurdly equal footing, and where the time-hon- 
oured privilege of snubbing dissenters and persecuting 
Papists was rigorously denied them. English clergy- 
men, keenly alive to their distinction in representing 
the great National Establishment, were little disposed 
to receive poor Francis Pastorius, or Count Zinzendorf, 
the Moravian bishop, or even the Rev. Henry Mel- 
chior MuhlenLerg, pastor of the German Lutherans, as 
brothers in Christ. From the very beginning they and 


their parishioners held themselves stanchly aloof, a 
small, compact, able, antagonistic body of men ; and, as 
a first step towards concentration and influence, they 
built a church which, for the time and place, must 
always be regarded as a marvel of extravagance and 

Now church building was no easy task in colonial 
days, when fortunes were few, and men were reluctant 
to part with hard-earned gains. The present edifice, 
old though it be, — as we count age in the New "World, 
— replaced a still more ancient structure which for 
thirty-five years harboured the little congregation. 
Perhaps the second church would never have seen com- 
pletion, had it not been for the ever popular device of 
lottery tickets, by help of which our unscrupulous an- 
cestors reared most of their important public buildings. 
Two lotteries were projected by the vestry of Christ 
Church, the tickets for each selling at four dollars 
apiece. One of them, known as the " Philadelphia 
Steeple Lottery," was drawn as late as March, 1753, 
and paid for the steeple, nearly twenty years after the 
body of the church was built. Within its walls gener- 
ations of Philadelphians knelt to pray ; and from its 
vestry and congregation issued those endless petitions 
to the Privy Council which kept the colony in a state 
of perpetual agitation and alarm. Four times in sev- 
enty years the crown was urged to compel the Quaker 
Assembly to place the province in a state of defence 





against pirates and Indians, — a reasonable request ; 
and four times in seventy years it was urged to force 
upon the Quaker magistrates such oaths of office as 
were customary and obligatory in England, — an utterly 
unreasonable request, having for its aim and object 
nothing less than the exclusion of Friends from the 
Assembly, and from all positions of trust in a colony 
which owed to them its existence, its prosperity and 
peace. The Anglicans in the heat of their resentment 
did not hesitate to petition the King to dispossess the 
Proprietor, to dissolve the existing government, and to 
rule Pennsylvania as a royal province. In fact, they 
were as willing at one time to relinquish their charter, 
and with it their colonial rights, as they were deter- 
mined a few years later to protect and cherish both. 
The ardent churchman felt no sacrifice too great for 
the coveted privilege of correcting his neighbour's mis- 

An occasional success crowned these untiring efforts. 
After the accession of William and Mary, and the 
passing of what, by an exquisite stroke of irony, was 
called the Toleration Act, the vestry of Christ Church 
petitioned the Privy Council, through Colonel Quarry, 
to impose the "Test" upon all who wished to hold 
office, or worship publicly in Pennsylvania. The Coun- 
cil yielded to this demand, and a congregation of 
five hundred souls succeeded for a time in saddling 
the whole province with one of those petty exactions, 


harmless enough in itself, — as the only class it really 
iiijuied were the Roman Catholics, and they were too 
few for consideration, — but opposed to the broad- 
minded, tolerant spirit of the colony, and sufficiently 
annoying to keep a peace-loving population in a state 
of ill-humour and disquiet. 

It must be frankly admitted, however, that this 
combative little church held within itself a large pro- 
portion of Philadelphia's ability, energy, and learning. 
As time went on, both the proprietors and governors 
of Pennsylvania added the weight of their influence 
to the Anglican party, in a ceaseless conflict with the 
Quaker Assembly, which held its own for nearly a 
hundred years by the simple and time-honoured device, 
dear to the Anglo-Saxon heart, of granting or with- 
holding supplies. Nothing could wrench from it the 
power of the purse, and nothing could long survive 
the closing of the purse-strings. Even the governors 
who came over from England with sovereignty in their 
hearts, and sealed letters of instruction in their pockets, 
found it more or less difficult to maintain the dignity 
of their position when the Assembly paid them no 
salaries ; and, after a year or two of high-handed 
autocracy, they were glad to temporize with the im- 
perturbable Friends for the sake of a necessary income. 

No such humiliation as this befell the Christ Church 
rectors. Their stout-hearted congregations supported 
them liberally, and found money to spare for Intel- 


lectual, as well as for spiritual and political requisitions. 
When Franklin conceived his plan for organizing 
the " College and Academy of Philadelphia," he found 
the assistance he needed in the Anglican party ; four- 
fifths of the college trustees were church members ; 
and the Rev. William Smith — one of the most able, 
irascible, and contentious men in the community, with 
whom Franklin was destined to have many a quarrel 
— was elected the first head-master. When the hostile 
French and Indians threatened the safety of the 
province, it was Christ Church again which main- 
tained the duty of a defensive — which rabidly be- 
came an offensive — warfare ; and Dr. Smith preached 
from its pulpit eight rousing military sermons, well 
calculated to increase the general discontent at the 
moderate measures of the Assembly. As usual, too, 
the Christ Church vestry, aided and abetted by the 
vestry of St. Peter's, which by this time had taken up 
its share of the dispute, petitioned the crown to exclude 
all non-resident Quakers from the legislative body, — a 
petition which was wisely ignored. 

Finally, when the coming Revolution cast its signifi- 
cant shadow on the colony, the Anglicans, while always 
hoping for peace, remonstrated clearl}^ against the in- 
justice of the Stamp Act, and the impolicy of con- 
cessions to England. If they paused on the brink of 
open rebellion, it was through conservatism and not 
cowardicCo Three of the sigliers of the Declaration 



of Independence, — Franklin, Robert Morris, and Hop- 
kinson, — were Christ Church pew-holders ; and it was 
immediately determined to drop from the service 
the long familiar prayer for the King and the Royal 
Family. With the departure of that prayer, the politi- 
cal importance of the church ceased forever. Severed 
from the great English Establishment, it stood politi- 
cally on a par with every sectarian chapel in the land. 
The old order had passed away, and the new order 
concerned itself but little with doctrines and dogmas. 
No mt)re Tests ! No more petitions to the Privy Coun- 
cil ! Only an intellectual supremacy remained, and 
that was soon to be disputed by rival creeds. The 
clergy, the vestry, the congregation of Christ Church 
recognized clearly what the Revolution was to cost 
them. They did not long hesitate to sacrifice their 
own interests to the wider, greater, nobler needs of a 
country which demanded to be free. 



"FN 1699 Penn returned to Philadelphia, and was 
welcomed with enthusiasm by the city, now nine- 
teen years old, and rapidly outgrowing her pretty 
primitive simplicity. Much had happened to her 
Quaker Founder in the last fifteen years, much that 
has no place in this New World chronicle, though it 
may be read with interest by those who love to follow 
a brave man through the intricacies and fatal fortunes 
of life. The accession of James II. placed Penn in a 
position of trust and influence at court, for the King 
had always regarded him and his sober followers with 
favour ; and one of the first acts of the new reign was 
the remission of the penalties imposed upon all who 
had refused to take the oath of allegiance, by which 
royal clemency more than twelve hundred Quakers 
were immediately released from prison. The faithful 
service rendered by Penn to the monarch who had 
befriended him from boyhood has been made the 
subject of much invidious and foolish criticism. Ma- 
caulay, whose attitude towards any adherent of the 
Stuarts resembles Voltaire's attitude towards Habak- 




kuk, has not hesitated to accuse the courtly Quaker 
of more than one harsh deed ; and though none of 
these accusations rest upon convincing authority, and 
most of them rest upon no authority whatever, there 
lingers in many minds a vague impression that Penn 
was at heart a time-server and a worldling. Even 
Mrs. Oliphant wonders with pious scorn, how a man 
who professed sanctity could obey a master so palpably 
imperfect as James, as though it were possible, under 
any form of government, to make character the condi- 
tion, of our obedience and our service to those who 
rule the land. 

More dispassionate minds will find in the strange in- 
congruous friendship something equally creditable to 
king and subject. James held tKis gentle yet outspoken 
follower at his true worth, and many gracious deeds 
were the result of his influence and intercession. 
Penn's loyal heart found little to forgive. The King's 
Catholicity troubled him not at all, for in his serene 
breadth of mind he saw no reason why even a monarch 
should not cherish his own faith, an idea which had not 
then dawned upon the civilized world, and whicli has 
made but little headway in the intervening years. He 
believed James to be sincere — albeit sincerity was not 
a Stuart failing — and he had a grateful affection for 
the morose man who won so little love. The revolu- 
tion of 1689 brought him serious disaster, and was full 
of evil omens for the Quakers who clung to him as 


their leader and support. He found himself an object 
of deep suspicion at court, was accused before the 
Privy Council of treasonable correspondence with the 
exiled King, and was promptly deprived of his pro- 
prietary rights. Disgraced, poor, well-nigh friendless, 
separated from his wife, who died before his restoration 
to favour, he bore this sharp reversal of fortune with 
unalterable patience and composure. It was not until 
England had grown calm again, and had reconciled 
herself sagaciously, though with no lively satisfaction, 
to the great and wise and disagreeable prince whom 
she had invited to her throne, that Penn was able to 
prove his absolute innocence. He had loved and served 
James. He neither loved nor wished to serve William. 
But his creed forced him to play a passive part in these 
strange shifting scenes which changed the destinies of 
nations, and made even his own little life the sport 
and plaything of conflicting fates. 

When, after years of trouble and disrepute, the sun 
of royal favour shone faintly upon him once again, and 
the government of Pennsylvania was restored to his 
hands, he resolved to return to the province, which had 
been but little disturbed by the mighty changes at 
home. The flight of James and the accession of 
William had, in fact, made no particular impression 
apon the colonists, who paid scant heed to the start- 
ling news, but waited without impatience for further 
developments. James, they considered, might come 


back, and the Prince of Orange might fly in his turn. 
Neither possibility interested them very profoundly. 
Those were happy days, when the serenity of one hemi- 
sphere was not at the mercy of daily despatches from 
the other. Nine months passed before the new reign 
seemed so reasonably secure, that, in tardy little Phila- 
delphia, William and Mary were proclaimed King and 
Queen of England. 

In matters nearer home, however, the colony was as 
actively contentious as its neighbours, and even across 
the ocean there had reached Penn's ears the echoes of 
constant strife. " For the love of God, of me, and of 
the poor country," we find him writing to Lloyd, "be 
not so governmentish, so noisy and open in your dissat- 
isfaction." He had failed to realize, amid the cares and 
dangers that beset his path in England, how in far-away 
Pennsylvania there was growing with every year a 
spirit of strong and bitter opposition to his proprietary 
powers. He thought that all would be well when he 
was with his own people once again ; but scarcely had 
the words of welcome which greeted his return to 
Philadelphia died away, when the struggle began which 
in two years left little of his cherished laws, or of his 
old authority. The Assembly was ready enough to 
assist him in the suppression of smuggling and piracy, 
which lawless but profitable professions had grown to 
scandalous magnitude. On other points they met his 
wishes with steady resistance, and the Christ Church 



party, under the leadership of Robert Quarry, Judge of 
the Admiralty, grew more hostile every month. Penn 
took up his quarters for the winter in the Slate Roof 
House ; but at the earliest approach of spring he went 
gladly to Pennsbury, which had been furnished with a 
degree of elegance hitherto unknown to the colony. 


Turkish tapestry and satin hangings covered the bare 
white walls, the first carpet carried over the ocean 
adorned the drawing-room floor, silver and glass 
sparkled on the massive sideboard. Outside there were 
lawns and terraces, made with infinite pains, to give 
the house some sweet resemblance to an English 
country liome, and endear it in the sight of wife and 
child ; for Penn had married a second time, and his 



family accompanied him now to the strange New 
Woild, and liked it very little when they got there. 

The successor of poor Gulielma Maria, who had es- 
caped forever from careless servants and encroaching 
friendships, was a '' devout and comely maiden," Han- 
nah Callowhill, the daughter of a Bristol merchant. 
Her letters, which have been ardently recommended as 
profitable reading for the young, show her to have been 
a woman of force and character, well fitted for the 
serious cares of life, and for the important part she was 
destined to play in the history of the province. She 
had three sons, one of whom, John Penn, was born in 
Philadelphia, and was commonly called " the American," 
though he did as little as possible to merit the title, 
or to make it an honourable distinction. "A lovely 
babe," writes Isaac Norris, with breathless enthusiasm, 
in 1701, " and has much of his father's grace and air, 
and hope he will not want a good portion of his 
mother's sweetness, who is a woman extremely well- 
beloved here, exemplary in her station, and of an excel- 
lent spirit, which adds lustre to her character, and has 
a great place in the hearts of good people." 

Penn's only daughter, Letitia, and his scapegrace son, 
William, the children of his first wife, had accompanied 
him to the colony, and Letitia's discontent and home- 
sickness fully equalled her stepmother's. The "fair 
mansion house " seemed but a desolate dwelling-place 
to these sedate Englishwomen, who never learned to 



love such unaccustomed freedom, and never ceased to 
fear the silent forest that surrounded them, nor the 
"insolent bears and painted savages" that roamed — 
most uncongenial neighbours — through its sombre 

depths. Yet Penn maintained 
the dignity of his position in 
a manner that might well 
have satisfied, and even daz- 
zled, the Bristol merchant's 
daughter. Four horses drew 
his state coach bumping and 
jolting over the rough, 
ill-made road from Penns- 
bury to Philadelphia ; 
eight oarsmen rowed his 
barge when he took the 
smoother waterway. The 
colonists were impressed, 
amused, or exasperated, 
according to their dispo- 
sitions, by all this for- 
mality and display; but 
even those who least loved the Proprietor were com- 
pelled to admit that his was a nature broad enough to 
understand the needs of a community, and generous 
enough to begrudge neither labour nor wealth when 
the happiness of the people was at stake. Penn, like 
Washington, was a slaveholder, and, like Washington, 



he treated his slaves with uniform kindness and human- 
ity. He even urged upon the Assembly a bill obliging 
all colonists to instruct their negroes in Christian 
truths; and while the Quakers, as a rule, made but 
little effort to convert the Indians about them, they 
gave to the savages a rare example of that seldom 
seen Christianity which consistently practised wliat it 

Meanwhile the town grew and prospered. Active 
measures were taken against the pirates who swarmed 
along the coast, — unmitigated ruffians for the most 
part, who had no wrongs to avenge like Kingsley's 
warm-hearted and sentimental "Buccaneer"; but who 
robbed honest men, and assaulted honest women, and 
dishonoured the very seas over which their black 
crafts sailed. The commerce they had blocked was once 
again resumed. Emigration increased almost too rap- 
idly, people thought, for the welfare of the colony. 
It is curious to hear, echoed from the very begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century, the same apprehen- 
sive whispers that now disturb our peace. James 
Logan, who came to the province as Penn's secretary 
in 1699, an 1 who was for many years the best, the 
most loyal, and the most capable public servant that 
Pennsylvania possessed, wrote doubtfully, after thirty 
years of experience : "It looks as if Ireland is to 
send all its inhabitants hither. The common fear is 
that if they continue to come, they will make them- 


selves masters of the place. It is strange that they 
thus crowd where they are not wanted." 

Not very strange, for the land was fertile and the 
country was at peace, a peace to be broken and lost 
before many years had passed through the harshness 
and arrogance of these same Scotch-Irish emigrants, 
who tilled the soil with splendid industry, and an 
undeviating indifference as to its rightful ownership. 
In 1701 Penn was recalled to England by a fresh 
danger. Parliament was considering a bill for the 
purchase by the crown of all proprietary rights ; and 
to defend both the independence of the province 
and his own peculiar claims became the immediate 
duty of the governor. Before he left Philadelphia, 
the Assembly, ever prompt to secure an advantage, 
obtained the Charter of Privileges, which gave it the 
power to originate its own measures, and left to 
Penn, of all his old authority, little but empty hon- 
ours, and the quit-rents, which were destined in the 
coming years to enrich his children and his chil- 
dren's children "beyond the dreams of avarice," as 
the story books phrase it, though never beyond their 
own avaricious desires. 

Hannah Penn and Letitia rejoiced openly at this 
chance of returning to England ; but Gulielma Maria's 
son was left in the colony, where it was hoped he 
would gain steadfastness of purpose, and propriety of 
behaviour. " Weigh down his levities, temper his re- 



sentments, and inform his understanding," wrote Penn 
to Logan who remained as Hamilton's provincial sec- 
retary, and upon whose capable shoulders fell a 
heavy burden of cares. The young man's resent- 
ments and levities, however, so far outweighed his 
understanding that no balance of sanity could be 
struck, and his riotous conduct sorely scandalized the 
quiet Quaker community. His father meanwhile set- 
tled once more into his old familiar life, became 
rather a favourite of good Queen Anne's, succeeded in 
checking the bill for the purchase of proprietary 
rights, and spent much time at court, very pleasantly 
and profitably, until overtaken by the serious finan- 
cial trouble which shadowed and saddened his old 
age. Many causes contributed to this disaster. The 
difficulty of collecting quit-rents, the extravagance of 
his dissolute son, and the greed of his parsimonious 
son-in-law, William Aubrey, — "a scraping man," 
says Penn with his usual felicity of phrase, who 
compelled the prompt payment of Letitia's portion 
when so large a sum could hardly be raised without 
ruin. Above all, an unjust steward — that character 
as well known in the eighteenth Christian century 
as in the first — completed the work of destruction, 
and forced Penn to live for many months within 
the confines of the Fleet prison. 

It is not pleasant for us to contemplate the founder 
of our Keystone State, the founder of our Quaker 


City, pent up in a London jail. It is not pleasant 
for us to remember that Robert Morris, who poured 
out his wealth like water for the support of our en- 
dangered commonwealth, was left to lie unhelped and 
unheeded in a debtor's prison. It is never pleasant 
to realize that every page of history is but a monot- 
onous illustration of TourguenefP's savage satire, a 
monotonous repetition of that pitiless scene, where, 
the virtues being gathered together in the azure 
halls, it is discovered that Benevolence and Grati- 
tude have never met before. Even in England and 
in France, the spectacle of Penn's misfortunes could 
not long be endured with equanimity, and his own 
unbroken courage heightened the feeling of sympathy 
and of resentment. A compromise was finally ef- 
fected, money was raised by the English Quakers 
for his release, and the man to whom had been 
granted absolute rights over vast and unknown terri- 
tories, was permitted to enjoy once more the fields 
and the skies of his native land. He rented a mod- 
est country house in Buckinghamshire, and the re- 
mainder of his life — until paralysis clouded his 
understanding — was spent quietly, though with little 
joy, for ever and again some fresh contention with 
the province disturbed his peace of mind. His last 
sad, serious letter to the colonists shamed them into 
an outburst of love and loyalty which came too late 
for comfort. He died in 1718, being seventy-four 


years old ; and his most sincere mourners were 
found, neither in London nor in Phihidelpliia, but in 
those trackless forests where tlie Indians — whose 
friends had been but few — still cherished and hon- 
oured the memory of the "white truth-teller." They 
sent gifts of skins over the sea to his widow, and 
bewailed in savage fashion around their camp-fires 
" the man of treaties unbroken, and friendships 

Calumny, which loves a shining mark, has never 
been sparing of her favours to William Penn. Many 
are the arrows she has winged ; many are the accusa- 
tions she has reiterated. In his own day he was 
denounced by sturdy Protestants as a concealed 
Papist, by angry Whigs as a rebel at heart, and by 
clamorous preachers as a Jesuit in disguise, which 
last accusation might have been spared a man who 
had two wives and five children. He offended world- 
lings by his Quaker creed, which to them was mere 
hypocrisy, and he scandalized the righteous by his 
association with courts and courtiers. His personal 
charm is vouched for by no less censorious a critic 
than Swift, who says that he spoke "very agreeably, 
and with much spirit." In 1710, Swift writes to 
Stella that he met at Mr. Harley's, "Will Penn the 
Quaker," and that they passed a lively evening, 
being exceedingly well entertained by one another. 
"We sat two hours, drinking as good wine as you 



do," adds the great churchman with unwonted amia- 
bility ; and it is perhaps the strongest proof of Penn's 
lovableness that, . after drinking good wine with him 
for two hours at night. Swift has the next morning 
no word of dispraise for his companion. 




rFlIIE death of William Penn closes one period of 
Philadelphia's history. His proprietary rights 
passed to his widow, for the worthless son did not 
long, survive his father, and Hannah Penn's children 
were still minors, under her exclusive guardianship. 
She remained in England, and was ably assisted in 
her cares by Sir William Keith, the governor of the 
province, a man who behaved with great discretion 
for years, and then, losing his mental balance under 
pressure of a too sustained success, quarrelled with 
Logan, defied the Assembly, and, returning to London, 
perished miserably in the Old Bailey. He it was 
who first suggested paper currency to supply the 
needs of the colony, continually drained of gold by 
the excess of its imports over its exports, — a dan- 
gerous measure, but one which, in prudent Quaker 
hands, succeeded beyond all anticipation. For fifty 
years the notes never depreciated, and only with the 
darkening of the revolutionary cloud came their melan- 
choly and disgraceful downfall. In 1720, Franklin, 
then a sanguine young man of twenty, who, like other 
w 06 


sanguine young men, believed in cheap money and 
plenty of it, rushed into the field with a pamphlet on 
"The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency," 
which, in the general absence of sounder arguments, 
created a wide impression, and brought its author into 
enviable notice. It was, nevertheless, a crude and 
shallow piece of reasoning, and Franklin in later 
years clearly recognized its folly. Older and wiser 
eyes saw, even amid the present prosperity, ominous 
shadows of trouble to come ; and only three years after 
the publication of Franklin's glittering generalities, 
James Logan confessed that his heart was heavy with 
apprehension. " I dare not say one word against the 
paper money," he wrote sadly in 1729. " The popular 
phrensy will never stop till our credit be as bad as in 
New England, where an ounce of silver is worth 
twenty shillings of paper. They already talk of 
making more, and no man dares to stem the fury of 
the rage. The notion is that while any man will 
borrow on good security of land, more money should 
be made for him, without thinking of what value it 
will be when made. They affirm that, while the 
security is good, the money cannot fall. The King's 
own hand should forbid this folly." 

For a while, however, and a long while too, all went 
merrily as wedding bells. The province grew stronger 
and more populous, the city increased yearly in size 
and wealth. Luxury and gayety began to manifest 


themselves, and we hear the echo of many an unheeded 
protest against the insidious encroachments of the 
world ; against the use of snuff-boxes, for example, 
and of fans, wliich were carried even to the meeting- 
house, where they diverted women's minds from 
"inward and spiritual exercise." As early as 1726 
devout female Friends were publicly cautioned against 
" the immodest fashion of hooped Petticoats," and even 
against " imitations of them by stiffened or full Skirts, 
which we take " (very rightly) " to be but a Branch 
springing from the same corrupt root of Pride." They 
were also forbidden to wear striped shoes, to lay pleats 
in their caps, " to cut or draw down their hair on their 
Foreheads and Temples," or to put aside that badge of 
demure and domestic womanhood — the apron. Much 
scandal was given, moreover, by the readiness with 
which the merry wives of Philadelphia joined in their 
husbands' comfortable potations. The eighteenth cen- 
tury was the great drinking era, and our colony fol- 
lowed in no halting measure the jovial fashions of 
the day. In 1733 the Pennsylvania Gazette laments 
that Philadelphia women, " otherwise discreet," instead 
of contenting themselves with one good draught of 
beer in the morning, take "two or three drams, by 
which their appetite for wholesome food is destroyed." 
Much might be written about the taverns which, 
from the very beginning, played an important part in 
this dull, cheerful, prosperous, unplagued colonial life. 


Their faded sign-boards swung in every street, and 
curious old verses, copied by loving antiquarians, 
still remain to show us what our wise forefathers liked 
to read. One little pot-house had painted on its 
board, a tree, a bird, a ship, and a mug of beer, while 
beneath were these encouraging lines : — 

"This is the tree that never grew, 
This is the bird that never flew, 
This is the ship that never sailed, 
This is the mug that never failed." 

When the increasing hostility to Great Britain dis- 
turbed more and more the peacefulness of province 
and of town, the sign-boards caught the restless tone 
of discontent, and became belligerent rather than 
festive and hospitable. A diminutive, one-storied 
tavern with high pitched roof, near the old Swedes' 
church, displayed a hen, a brood of young chickens, 
and an eagle hovering over them with a crown in 
its beak. Below, in large letters, was this patriotic 
sentiment : " May the wings of Liberty cover the 
chickens of Freedom, and pluck the crown from the 
enemy's head! " — a valiant display of metaphors irre- 
sistibly suggestive of Elijah Pogram, the immortal, and 
his eloquent words anent the impetuous Mr. Chollop : 
*' He is a child of Natur' and a child of Freedom ; and 
his boastful answer to the Despot and the Tyrant is 
that his bright home is in the Settin' Sun." 

When the colonists began to have sufficient leis- 




ure for ennui, the question arose in Pliiladelphia, 
as in every other community, " What shall we do to 
be amused?" and the answer was difficult to find. 
Amusements were held in no great esteem by decorous 
citizens, and for a while it seemed as if the primitive 
pastimes of cock-fighting and bull-baiting were the 
only admissible diversions. Cock-fighting, indeed, was 


SO universally popular, that even in later days when 
Mr. Whitefield's eloquent preaching had persuaded 
good Philadelphians to deny themselves the sinful joys 
of dancing and of music, the personal friends and 
warm supporters of the uncompromising divine were 
still as careful as ever in the rearing of their young 
game-cocks. As for bull-baiting, it held its own until 
1820, when Mayor Wharton put an abrupt and final 


end to the sport by confiscating the last bull ever seen 
in a Philadelphia ring. 

Occasionally, across the arid waste of dulness, came 
jugglers and tight-rope dancers, lending to the virtu- 
ous little town a transient air of excess. In the winter 
of 1724, a band of these roving acrobats was kindly 
received by all but the Quaker colonists, and especial 
favour was shown to a child of seven, " who danced and 
capered upon the strait roap, to the wonder of all 
spectators." A few years later, an eight-legged cat 
was exhibited to the delighted public ; also a moose, 
(spelled in the old notice, mouse, which is misleading) 
and " a beautiful creature, but surprising fierce, called 
a leopard." By the end of the century, our forefathers 
were still so easily entertained that they manifested 
wild enthusiasm for the skeleton of a mammoth, which 
had been found in a marl pit in New York, and which 
was brought to Philadelphia by the enterprising Mr. 
Peale, who generously restored all the missing bones ; 
and it was not until a comparatively recent date that 
the first waxworks made their appearance, and were 
greeted with universal enthusiasm. 

None of the gracious tolerance manifested for the 
cock-pit and other virile amusements was shown to the 
poor actors, wlio from time to time ventured to try 
their fortunes in the Quaker City. When, in 1749, a 
little troop of shabby players presented themselves 
forlornly in an improvised theatre, and gave to Phila- 


delphia the unsolicited honour of seeing the first Shake- 
sperian representation in the United States, they were 
promptly suppressed by active magistrates, as "encour- 
aging idleness, and drawing great sums of money [?] 
from weak and inconsiderate persons." The stage, 
however, in every land and in every century, has been 
wily enough to present herself at first as a religious 
and moral teacher, and to gain her first hearing on the 
score of the good she hopes to do. She is like that 
adroit demon of Benozzo Gozzoli in the Campo Santo 
at Pisa, who enters the hermitage disguised as a pil- 
grim, and, notwithstanding the palpable evidence of 
horn and hoof, is welcomed joyously by the devout and 
unsuspicious hermit. In 1754, Hallam's Company from 
London established themselves modestly in a shop on 
South Street, obtained with difficulty a license to act 
for a few months, provided they offered " nothing in- 
decent or immoral," and proceeded at once to stem the 
stream of popular disapprobation by distributing on 
the streets a slender pamphlet, setting forth the harm- 
less nature of their occupation. The imposing title of 
this pamphlet ran as follows : — 

"Extracts of Several Treatises, 

Wrote by the Prince of Conti; 

With the Sentiments of the Fathers, 

And some of the Decrees of the Councils, 

Concerning Stage Plays. 

Recommended to tlie Perusal, and Serious Consideration of the 

Professors of Cln-istianity, in the City of Philadelphia." 


A curious pleading this, to urge against the ill-will 
of Quakers and Presbyterians who did not, as a rule, 
concern themselves deeply with the sentiments of the 
Fathers, or the decrees of the Councils, and for whom 
the opinions of the Prince of Conti must have carried 
marvellously little weight. A better argument in 
behalf of the players was the alacrity with which they 
gave the proceeds of one night's entertainment to the 
Charity School that had been established in connection 
with the newly founded Academy. But even this 
heavy bribe, which they could so ill afford, failed to 
soften the spirit of opposition, or to awaken general 
interest. Few people knew or cared anything about 
the actor's art ; fewer still could be persuaded that 
it was a justifiable vocation. Science was much in 
fashion, thanks to Franklin and his discoveries, and 
young men of education and leisure preferred, or said 
they preferred, the lectures of Professor Kinnersly on 
electricity to the purposeless soliloquies of Hamlet, or 
the wild ravings of King Richard III. It is to be 
feared that little, learned Philadelphia was something 
of a prig, until those gay and graceless days when an 
English army held her in thraldom, and English offi- 
cers taught her seductive lessons, in which science and 
lectures played but scanty parts. 

After an absence of five years, the indomitable Hal- 
lams returned to the citj^ which had welcomed them 
so coldly, established themselves prudently outside the 


town limits, and printed their play-bills in a wary 
fashion ; promising as a rule "A Concert of Music," — 
which sounded harmless — " to be followed by a moral 
Dialogue on tlie Vice of Gaming," — or any other vice 
suitable for the occasion. The word '' play " was 
always religiously omitted from these early notices. 
We see " Hamlet " and " Jane Shore " described as 
"moral and instructive Tales"; and sometimes the 
whole entertainment, "The Fair Penitent," perhaps, 
and " Miss in her Teens," is mendaciously advertised 
as a lecture. 

Of little avail, however, was all this strategy and 
subterfuge. Quakers, Presbyterians, Baptists, and 
Lutherans united their forces to rout from their virtu- 
ous town these brazen representatives of evil. The 
urgent petition they addressed to the Assembly set 
forth in no measured terms the mischief wrought in a 
peaceful community by " idle persons and strollers, who 
have come into this province from foreign parts, in the 
character of players, erected stages and theatres, and 
thereon acted divers plays, by which the weak, poor, 
and necessitous have been prevailed on to neglect their 
industry and labour, and to give extravagant prices for 
their tickets ; and great numbers of disorderly persons 
have been drawn together in the night, to the distress 
of many poor families, manifest injury to this young 
colony, and grievous scandal of religion, and the laws 
of the government." 


A heavy arraignment against a dozen poor mum- 
mers, who could plead nothing in their own be- 
half, save that they were striving to give pleasure 
and amuse, and whose flimsy pretence of moral 
instruction was swept away like a cobweb by these 
vigorous home truths. Philadelphia had all the 
moral instruction of which she stood in need, with- 
out any assistance from the stage ; and so lier citi- 
zens probably felt, for, after a struggle of some 
months, hostile virtue triumphed signally, — the little 
playhouse was closed, the plays forbidden, and the 
dejected actors set forth once more in search of 
colonies less stanchly wedded to electricity and 

But not for long. There is a power of resistance 
in the world, the flesh, and the devil, which the up- 
holders of morality do not always take sufficiently 
into account. For seven years the Quaker City 
waxed fat in uncontaminated goodness, and then the 
fight with ApoUyon was again renewed, and renewed 
under ominous disadvantages. Apollyon had built 
himself a home, a real playhouse this time, albeit a 
poor, shabby little structure, miserably inadequate to 
the cause of vice. In this playhouse, long known as 
the (^Id Southwark Theatre, actors strutted through 
their nightly parts, Avhile the storm of righteousness 
rolled unheeded around them ; and to this playhouse 
was accorded the honour of producing the first 


American play ever publicly acted in the colonies. 
A strictly moral drama it was, entitled "The Prince 
of Parthia," written in deplorable blank verse, and 
of a dulness so uniform and sustained that even a 
lecture on electricity must have seemed sprightly by 
its side. Its author, Thomas Godfrey, was an aspir- 
ing young watchmaker of Philadelphia, a protege of 
Franklin ; and he acquired an enviable reputation as 
a poet in those halcyon days when literary criticism 
had not yet crossed the Atlantic, and when a book 
was necessarily a good book, a poem was necessarily a 
good poem, and a play was necessarily a good play, 
unless they offended public taste and decency. 

Vehement were the remonstrances urged by the 
elect against the Southwark Theatre, and the sinful 
diversions it afforded. Play-acting, it was affirmed, 
was "akin to image-worship," though the connection 
between the two was not very clearly defined ; and 
the Assembly was entreated to put an end to this 
open scandal and iniquity. The Assembly, however, 
had grown less hostile to the stage, and Governor 
Penn stoutly refused to interfere with the actors. 
They were tolerated from year to year, though never 
assured of protection, and never released from assault. 
In the Pennsylvania Gazette, Dec. 19, 1768, we find 
a long communication from a sanctimonious gentle- 
man, who laments the hold which the theatre has 
gained upon the public mind. Young people, it 


seems, were even guilty of going to the play on 
nights when they might have gone to church. He 
himself, so great was the general laxity, had been 
presented with a box ticket the day before ; but 
"having no taste for theatrical performances," he had 
attended religious service instead, and had handed 
over the ticket to a black servant, whose soul, he 
plainly considered, could not be easily injured. The 
negro apparently thought otherwise. "The virtuous 
slave immediately sold the ticket for half price, and 
purchased a prayer book with the money. An exam- 
ple of virtue and religion in a slave, worthy the imi- 
tation of the greatest ruler upon earth." 

It was not until after the Revolution that Phila- 
delphia — no longer, alas! the Quaker City — ceased 
to look askance upon the stage. During those brief 
months in which the English army occupied the 
town, theatrical representations of every kind became 
a recognized source of amusement in a community 
which suddenly, amid dangers, battles, and bank- 
ruptcy, found out how delightful it was to be 
amused. The officers of General Howe's staff acted 
a number of plays in the Southwark Theatre, giving 
the proceeds always to the soldiers' widows and or- 
phans. Major Andre and Captain De Lancey achieved 
especial distinction, not only as comedians, but as 
scene-painters, costume rs, and property men. The 
famous drop curtain painted by Major Andre, and 



representing a waterfall in a forest glade, was held 
to be a tiiuniph of art. It is described over and 
over again in contemporary letters as exceedingly 




beautiful, and was used with much pride for years, 
until lost in the burning of the theatre. 

Nor were the American officers averse, as a rule, 
to the seductions of tlie stage. Washington honestly 
loved a good comedy or a rattling farce, and was 


seen more than once in the east proscenium box of 
the Southwark Theatre, to the disedification of many 
good citizens. There must have been a sharp strug- 
gle now and then with deep-rooted prejudice on the 
one hand, and the respect it was impossible to with- 
hold from the President, on the other. This conflict 
of feeling is amusingly apparent in a letter written 
by Senator Maclay, who, being honoured by a seat 
in Washington's box, is divided between gratification 
at the privilege and a strong distaste for the enter- 
tainment. " The play," he writes, " was the ' School 
for Scandal.' I never liked it. Indeed, I think it 
an indecent representation before ladies of character 
and virtue. The farce that followed was ' The Old 
Soldier.' The house was greatly crowded, and I 
thought the players acted well ; but I wish we had 
seen the 'Conscious Lovers,' or some play that incul- 
cated more prudential manners." 

It must be admitted that Philadelphia had wan- 
dered far from her early decorum, and the esti- 
mable "Prince of Parthia," when she sat, smiling 
and unconcerned, to see the "School for Scandal." 
The day was fast approaching when the stage, freed 
from the yoke of the pious oppressor, was to flaunt, 
a licensed libertine, unmindful of old promises, moral 
instruction, the decrees of the Councils, and the ad- 
mirable opinions of the Prince of Conti. For many 
months the Dramatic Association had striven unceas- g 


ingly for the repeal of the Act of Prohibition, which 
liung like the sword of Damocles over each actor's 
head, blighting his peace of mind, and keeping him 
up to an uncomfortably rigid standard of ethics. 
At last, on the second of March, 1789, the efforts of 
the Association triumphed over all opposition. The 
obnoxious act was repealed, and the Southwark The- 
atre was opened "by authority" for the first time 
since it was built. Polite deceptions were henceforth 
at an end ; moral dialogues and fictitious lectures 
ceased to figure on the bills ; a play was a play, and 
a spade was a spade, for all the emancipated years 
to come. 



n~^HERE is an especial charm to the modest student 
of history in contemplating the little beginnings of 
big things ; and most big things, whose bigness is of a 
lasting and satisfying nature, have started on so small 
a scale that we can afford to feel familiar with them 
from their birth. It is only in the present day, and 
only in this impatient western workl, that institutions 
are expected to spring into existence, as Pallas Athene 
sprang from the brain of Zeus, vigorous, mature, and 



fully equipped for achievement. An impression pre- 
vails now among energetic people that a university can 
be finished oft-hand, and set running like a locomotive. 
All we need are the stone walls, the apparatus, and 
money to pay the professors. It is a mere question of 
steam. But the wise old monk who said to the mag- 
nificent Medici, " Ah ! Lorenzo, money does not make 
masters ; masters make money," knew whereof he 
spoke. Our great, great grandfathers had but little 
money when they planted the seeds of learning in the 
infant colonies ; but they gave unstintedly from their 
narrow resources, and were content that future genera- 
tions should finish their work, and reap the fulness of 
their harvest. Two young men, one of them a chemist 
and one a dentist, called together a few friends in their 
own walk of life, rented a little room over a milliner's 
shop, placed in it, with infinite pride, a dozen stuffed 
birds and a jar or two of reptiles, and met there at 
night to discuss " the operations of nature," pledging 
themselves wisely to leave politics and religion entirely 
out of their debates. From this modest beginning, this 
insignificant society, sprang the Philadelphia Academy 
of Natural Sciences, the oldest institution of its kind 
in America, which has borne a part in Arctic expedi- 
tions, diffused knowledge over the eastern States, and 
counted among its members the scholars and scientists 
of the land. 

In another small room in Jone's Alley, a few books, 


loaned by a club of gentlemen, were kept in three little 
bookcases for the benefit of members who might wish 
to consult them, and these three little bookcases cradled 
the infancy of the Philadelphia Library. The volumes 
grew so shabby under constant handling that their 
owners became dissatisfied ; and into the fertile brain 
of Franklin crept the project of a public library which 
should differ from all other public libraries, inasmuch 
as its books should be lent to subscribers, and carried 
home "into the bosom of private families." Much was 
hoped for the future, but little was exacted from the 
present, Franklin being wise enough to recognize the 
principle of growth. Fifty gentlemen willing to pay 
forty shillings each were sought for anxiously, but, as 
they were hard to find, half that number were held to 
be sufficient for a foundation, and when the Library 
Company saw itself in possession of forty-five pounds, 
it determined to send to England for books. With a 
modesty beyond all praise, the members of the Com- 
pany acknowledged their unfitness to select these 
precious volumes, and requested James Logan, "a 
gentleman of universg,! learning, and the best judge of 
books in these parts," to make out the necessary list. 
When the infant library arrived in Philadelphia, — a 
pedantic and somewhat ponderous infant it proved to 
be, — the room in Jone's Alley was prepared for its re- 
ception ; and from there it migrated to an apartment 
in the State House, and afterwards to Carpenter's Hall. 


The elate directors met at the house of Nicholas Scull, 
'* who loved books, and sometimes made a few verses," 
elected a librarian, who only attended twice a week, 
designed a seal, and passed a resolution, placing their 
volumes at the disposal of any " civil gentleman " who 
wished to read them, though only subscribers were per- 
mitted to carry them away. A public library, it may 
be observed, was not then intended to provide young 
women with an inexhaustible supply of novels. 

In 1733, Thomas Penn, second son of William Penn 
and Hannah Callowhill, visited the colony, and the 
adroit directors presented him with an address, asking 
his patronage for an institution which was to make 
Philadelphia "the future Athens of America." His Ex- 
cellency was not averse to a little well-timed flattery, 
and was ready to assist inexpensively in moulding an 
American Athens. He presented to the Library an air- 
pump, a microscope, and the promise of a lot of land, 
which was not definitely secured until twenty-four 
years later. Other gentlemen imitated his generosity, 
and donated a cabinet of medals, a collection of Indian 
fish-hooks, some Chinese slippers, the hand of an 
Egyptian mummy, and various articles of the kind 
that museums are now expected to accept from any- 
body who wishes to be rid of them, but which were 
particularly undesirable in a library which lacked 
sufficient space for its books. The volumes remained 
in Carpenter's Hall until after the Revolution, and 


were an occasional solace to both the English and 
American officers, especially when the library-room 
was used as a hospital. Not a single book, it is said, 
was lost or mutilated during this period of usurpation, 
and the soldiers with scrupulous integrity or courtesy 
paid the customary fee for every work they read. 

In 1789 the directors laid the corner-stone of the 
old library building in Fifth Street, with its curious 
homely inscription : — . 

" Be it remembered 

In honour of the Philadelphia youth, 

(Then chiefly artificers) 


They cheerfully, 

At the instance of Benjamin Franklin, 

One of their number, 

Instituted the Philadelphia Library ; 

Which though small at first, 

Is become highly valuable and extensively useful ; 

And which the walls of this edifice 

Are now destined to contain and preserve." 

In December, 1790, the books were triumphantly 
carried to this their first real home. A statue of 
Franklin, executed in Italy, was presented to the 
Company by Mr. William Bingham, and placed in 
a niche over the doorway. Tradition says that this 
statue cost five hundred guineas, and history records 
that, before it was ordered, a committee of the direc- 
tors waited upon the illustrious scholar to learn his 


wishes in tlie matter, and reported, to Mr. Bingham 
that Dr. Franklin desired " a gown for his dress, and 
a Roman head." The figure was accordingly draped 
in a toga, after the approved fashion of the eighteenth 
century, of which St. Paul's in London affords us so 
many delightful examples, and it looks like a benign 
old gentleman preparing decorously for his morning 
bath. It still stands over the portal of the new 
library building erected in Locust Street, in 1880, 
when the vast accumulation of books demanded a more 
spacious habitation. 

For the few insignificant volumes in the little room 
in Jone's Alley have increased and multiplied exceed- 
ingly. In 1792 the Loganian Library, so called from 
its founder, James Logan, was added to the collection. 
In 1869 the bequest of Dr. James Rush placed at the 
disposal of the Company the beautiful building known 
as the Ridgway Branch of the Philadelphia Library. 
In this spacious mansion, stately, remote, and inac- 
cessible, a hundred thousand volumes repose in dig- 
nified seclusion. It is a granite mausoleum where 
knowledge sleeps serenely, unvexed by would-be 
readers, and the noisy tumult of the world. Far 
different is the fate of the remaining books which 
number nearly a hundred thousand more, and which, 
in the less imposing edifice in Locust Street, are com- 
paratively at tlie mercy of the crowd. Here, too, 
may be found a number of interesting historical relics 



William Penn's desk, comfortable, commodious, and 
full of delightful little drawers ; his clock, still bravely 
keeping time ; Franklin's clock, which is far more 
ornate and elegant ; and the old in- 
scribed corner-stone of the Fifth 
Street Library, which has been care- 
fully transferred to the new walls. 
Here, in the words of the devout orni- 
thologist, Alexander Wilson, we may 

" Feast with sages, and give thanks to God ; " 

not altogether ignoring our debt of 
gratitude to the " artificers " of Phila- 
delphia, who, nearly two centuries 
ago, planned and plotted, worked and 
saved, to leave to future generations 
the little library which, grown into 
such fair proportions, is an inheri- 
tance carrying down to us in every 
volume the wisdom and the good-will 
of our ancestors. 

It is to Franklin that the Quaker 
City owes her college as well as her 
books. Indeed, we can no more 
escape from Franklin when studying the history of 
Philadelphia, than we can escape from Michelangelo 
when studying the treasures of Rome or Florence ; 
and Mark Twain's ribald witticism is as applicable to 

d-^ — ^^ — ^^ 
franklin's clock 


the one case as to the other. Turn where we will, 
from the homeliest detail of practical life to the sharp 
strife of politics, the wild flights of philosophy, the 
freshly opened field of scientific research ; seek where 
we may for the beginning of everything that is most 
useful and most highly valued in the Philadelphia of 
to-day, and we are always confronted by the same 
ubiquitous figure. It was Franklin who invented the 
stove which warmed nearly every parlour in the town ; 
Franklin who invented the lightning-rod which pro- 
tected nearly every farmhouse in the State ; Franklin 
who organized the fire companies ; Franklin who started 
the Philosophical Society ; Franklin who obtained from 
England a fair taxation of the proprietary estates ; 
Franklin who pranked it gayly at the French court, 
flattered by fair women, and cheered by the sapient 
mob; and Franklin who, alarmed at the ignorance he 
saw on every side of him, resolved that the sons of 
Philadelphia citizens should have some higher educa- 
tion than that afforded them by the admirable but 
limited training of the Quaker schools. 

In 1749, having thought the matter over for several 
years, he made known his views in a pamphlet entitled 
"Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in 
Pennsylvania." Many of these "proposals," it must 
be admitted, are of a serenely chimerical order, and 
suggest the Utopian dreams of Milton, who held that 
schoolboys should never be permitted to eat their 


dinners, uncheered by the ravishment of music. For 
music, indeed, Franklin cared but little ; and as for 
dinners, they were to be of Spartan simplicity in the 
new establishment. " Poor Richard " was not likely 

to see the college funds wasted in riotous living. But 
the school should be surrounded by an orchard and 
many green meadows ; the students were to learn how 
to write "a fair hand swiftly"; to acquire a moderate 

BlliTll OF LKAliNI.\G IN TUK l^l AhhU ( llY 5' 

knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and 
kindred subjects ; and to read Pope, Addison, Tillot- 
son, Algernon Sidney, and a translation of Cato's 
Letters, by way of acquiring good style and good prin- 
ciples. On Greek and Latin, alas ! no time was to be 
wasted, — it is easier for a camel to pass through the 
eye of a needle than for a self-taught man to recognize 
the value of the classics, — but the grand underlying 
principle of the institution was that the students were 
to study nothing, unless they felt impatient to do so. 
Even a simple matter like geography was not to be 
essayed, until a familiarity with past events — how 
acquired we are not told — had awakened in them a 
desire to know the position and extent of countries 
where such events had taken place. Education, which 
hitlierto had meant the goading on of reluctant youth, 
was now at last to assume its true character, — a free 
and J03-0US pursuit of knowledge, of such knowledge, at 
least, as the Philadelphia lads deemed it incumbent to 

The breadth and depth of Franklin's theories 
did not for one moment interfere with his severely 
practical plans for the establishment and support of 
the Academy. The subscription he set on foot for this 
purpose met with extraordinary success, the number of 
students increased rapidly, and the trustees acquired 
for very little money the great barn-like building on 
Fourth Street that had been erected for the benefit of 


the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, after he had alienated the 
affections of his brother clergymen by passing " unwar- 
rantable sentences on men, as if he were the supreme 
Judge," — a habit ill calculated to promote charity and 
good-will. The selection of the Rev. William Smith 
for provost was due largely to another pamphlet — 
pamphlets carried wondrous weight in those colonial 
days — which that ardent young Scotchman had pub- 
lished a year or two before, and in which he gave his 
views upon the training and education of youth. Dr. 
Smith's literary methods were not wholly Unlike those 
of our modern social reformers. Instead of dry, logi- 
cal arguments, he contented himself with a lively 
description of an imaginary and ideal institution, the 
" College of Mirania," in which lads were taught, 
somewhat after the " Harry and Lucy " fashion, every- 
thing that mortal man could learn. Physics and 
fencing, mechanics and agriculture, the philosophy of 
politics and practical farming, — nothing came amiss 
to the Miranian youths, and nothing sated their inex- 
haustible thirst for information. Franklin, who knew 
most things himself, and saw no reason why other men 
should not know them too, was enchanted with the 
pamphlet, and eager to secure the services of its author. 
The trustees shared his enthusiasm, without his know- 
ledge to excuse it ; Smith was summoned from New 
York to Philadelphia ; and — if we may trust the cur- 
riculum of the infant college which embraces every art 



and every science — the theories of Mirania were put 
as far as possible into practice. 

The wisdom of Providence, however, has placed an 
insurmountable barrier between such theories and their 
accomplishment, in the steady, wholesome resistance 
of the average boy, who can be trusted impli- 

e'JbNWu • • • . 1 


After an old painting 

citly to protect himself from the perils of over- 
instruction. Girl students are led with dangerous 
ease over the thorny paths where knowledge stalks 
unchecked ; but the stolid sanity of the boy stays 
his footsteps in good time, and frequently a little 
earlier than need be. The lads who thronged with 
cheerful tumult and confusion into the old collegiate 


rooms on Fourth Street resembled but indifferently 
their Miranian models, and learned only as much of 
the abundance that was offered as it was wise and 
well for them to know. 

It seemed inevitable that the college, though priding 
itself originally on its purely liberal basis, should 
gravitate towards the Episcopal and proprietary party. 
Where should it have turned, if not to its friends 
and supporters? The Penns, recognizing it as an 
able ally, gave liberally out of their abundance to 
its needs ; and when Dr. Smith went to England to 
collect funds, he naturally addressed himself to digni- 
taries of his own church. The long list of clergymen, 
bishops, archbishops, and peers who swiftly responded 
to his appeal, proves the generous interest taken by 
the English establishment in the little colonial college ; 
and the great universities of England held out helping 
hands to their small sister over the seas, who was 
battling against heavy odds for life. 

For the Quakers were disposed to look askance 
upon Mirania, and the learned Dr. Smith, being the 
most belligerent of men, took infinite pains to arouse 
their resentment and animosity. After Braddock's 
defeat had awakened Pennsylvania to a sense of 
mingled shame and apprehension, he published two 
pamphlets, charging the Assembly with supine cow- 
ardice and neglect of its duties. The Indian massa- 
cres, in his opinion, were due wholly to the Quakers 


and their abominable religion, which left the prov- 
ince at the mercy of savages. It would be well, he 
gently asserted, to stamp this religion from the face 
of the earth, and to drive the Quakers from their 
places of authority, — or, if necessary, cut their 
throats. These Rienzi-like sentiments from a young 
man of twenty-nine were hardly calculated to soften 
the hearts of his opponents ; and when he followed 
them up by enthusiastically supporting the seditious 
utterances of William Moore, the Assembly exerted 
its "tyrannous power," and clapped him into jail for 

This was a serious drawback to the prosperity of 
the college, but a magnificent opportunity for the 
warlike and oratorical provost. He made the most 
of it ! The day of his trial was one of profound 
and delightful excitement. Dr. Smith in heroic 
periods defied the Assembly, refused to retract his 
statements, demanded a writ of habeas corpus^ and 
swore that he would appeal to the crown. Storms 
of applause greeted him from his friends ; but the 
unmoved Assembly remanded him to prison, where 
he remained, at some inconvenience to himself and 
others, for eleven weeks. The trustees of the college 
ordered that his classes should attend him there at 
their usual hours, and the enthusiastic students had 
the supreme felicity of swarming into the jjiil, and 
manifesting the exuberance of their zeal. It was a 


trifle demoralizing perhaps, and hardly conducive to 
the calm acquisition of knowledge ; nothing of the 
kind had ever happened in Mirania ; but for pure 
enjoyment it surpassed any diversion offered to the 
Miranian youths. 

The provost wrote joyously to the Bishop of Lon- 
don that his cell was crowded with visitors from 
morning to night, and that he transacted there all 
the important business of the college. In fact, those 
who suffer persecution for justice' sake do not always 
have to wait for another world in which to meet 
with their reward. They are apt to get a large in- 
stalment of it here. Love and fame stand at the 
martyr's door. An interesting young woman gave 
her heart to the captive scholar, and promptly mar- 
ried him. When released from prison for the second 
time, for he had been rearrested after his first dis- 
charge, he sailed for England, and was received with 
that sympathy and admiration which every nation 
is so swift to manifest for another nation's ill-used 
patriots. The Church recognized in him a champion 
of the faith whom the tyrannous Quakers had sig- 
nally failed to subdue. Oxford and Aberdeen granted 
him degrees. London gave him dinners and applause. 
His appeal to the Privy Council met with supreme 
success. The Assembly was censured for its uncon- 
stitutional disregard of a subject's rights and privi- 
leges, and, when Dr. Smith returned to Philadelphia, 


it was as a justified and triumphant man. The epi- 
sode had sadly disturbed the serenity and the utility 
of the college ; but it brought unqualified satisfac- 
tion to the provost, and heartened him for fresh 

It was a period of strange hostilities. The vain 
attempt to abolish the proprietorship left the province 
sullen and disturbed. The coming of the Revolution 
threw its mighty shadow over the hearts of men, and 
they wrangled bitterly, filled with mistrust and anger. 
In the first meetings held by prominent citizens of 
Philadelphia to express sympathy for poor locked-up 
Boston, we find the college provost emphatically assert- 
ing the indefeasible right of the colonies to vote their 
own supplies, — a right which they would never aban- 
don. His seemed a voice destined to uphold the cause 
of freedom, and help an injured people to rebel ; but 
the overwhelming speed with which rebellion, once set 
going, advanced, disconcerted him, as it did many older 
and wiser men. The college, moreover, was closely 
bound to England by ties of creed, by gratitude for 
favours given, and by that reverent admiration which 
every little, but right-thinking, school feels for the 
great universities, which stand crowned by the scholar- 
ship of the past, rich with the inheritance of the 
centuries. It was a loyal college ever ; loyal to its 
own traditions, but more loyal still to the claims of 
the commonwealth which were stronger than any 

96 ptiiladi:lpbia 

tradition. The stormy years of revolutionary war 
were ill adapted for the advancement of education ; 
but the triumph of the Constitutionalists should 
have meant protection and safety for Philadelphia's 
scholars. This was what Franklin strove in vain to 
insure by a clause in the new Constitution, providing 
that all schools and all churches should be left in 
undisturbed possession of their privileges. What 
really happened is almost too scandalous to be told. 
The Assembly, composed now of extremists under the 
leadership of Reed, professed to doubt the patriotism 
of an institution which had never failed in respect and 
obedience to the national government, and which had 
for its trustees men like Robert Morris and James 
Wilson, who had signed the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, and striven unceasingly for the freedom and the 
honour of their land. In 1779 the college charter was 
declared void, the Faculty was dissolved after the par- 
liamentary fashion of Cromwell, and the property was 
handed over to new trustees, with directions to found 
a brand-new alma mater, which was to be modestly en- 
titled, " The University of the State of Pennsylvania." 
It was an act of spoliation, without excuse and with- 
out redress. Its immediate result was the collapse of 
education in Philadelphia. The old college, deprived 
of charter, roof-tree, and funds, refused to die peaceably 
when requested, but struggled ^on, crippled and well- 
nigh useless. Its provost, whose heroic pluck would 


never allow him to know when he was beaten, retired 
to Maryland, only to plan fresh campaigns for the 
future. The new " University " found its honours 
heavy to bear, and its task impossible of performance. 
The magnificent title mocked the feebleness of its 
intellect, the inadequacy of its work. Poor minion 
of fortune, it could not even rely upon its own friends. 
After nine years, the Assembly which had bidden it 
live, took from it all means of livelihood. The act of 
1779 was pronounced " repugnant to justice, and a 
violation of the Constitution of the Commonwealth." 
The property was handed ruthlessly back to its rightful 
owner, the old College of Philadelphia, and Provost 
Smith, victorious and elate, took his place at the head 
of the institution. 

But not for long. There could be no stability any- 
where amid such hopeless elements of disorder. As 
the strife of factions ran higher and higher, scholarship 
sank lower and lower. The college and the university 
stood side by side, weakened and well-nigh weaponless. 
They could do nothing worth the doing apart, and it 
was hoped they might accomplish something together. 
With the consent of the Legislature, a union was 
effected in 1791 ; the simple old name was abandoned 
in favour of the more aspiring designation ; and the 
trustees were impartially selected from every con- 
testing clique and party the city could afford, in the 
hope, as Mr. Sydney Fisher aptly expresses it, "that 


the more dissimilar and disunited they were, the more 
they would work in harmony." Dr. Smith disappeared 
forever from the collegiate halls, and education de- 
parted with him. Mirania was no more, and, in her 
place, an enfeebled school, calling itself a university, 
struggled for existence, and graduated a pitiful hand- 
ful of students every year. Only the medical depart- 
ment, established in 1765, was strong enough to resist 
the dismal influence of the times ; and through the 
unceasing efforts of Dr. Shippen, Dr. Rush, Dr. 
Wistar, and other physicians of distinction, advanced 
steadily step by step to the splendid future that 
awaited it. In medicine and surgery Philadelphia 
always claimed preeminence, and her doctors to-day 
need look back upon no period of their history with 
shame in their hearts for its dishonourable inactivity. 
But it was not until after the Civil War that the Uni- 
versity began slowly to raise its downcast head, that 
head now held aloft in conscious and justifiable ela- 
tion. In 1871, one of Franklin's early " Proposals " 
was realized in part by the erection of the ncAV college 
buildings in West Philadelphia ; where, if no green 
meadows and fruitful orchards win the students from 
their books, and no river rolls invitingly under col- 
legiate windows, there is at least a campus and a little 
breathing space, turf under foot, and blue sky over- 
head. In these buildings, whicL from year to year have 
received important additions, the college which has 



passed through so many vicissitudes, so many changes 
of scene and fortune, has at last fulfilled the proudest 
hopes of those who first sped her on her way for the 
help and enlightenment of posterity. 

Six years before the ever famous " Proposals " saw 
the light of day, another and very different scheme of 
education was being slowly shaped into action by the 
resistless energy of Franklin. In 1743 he conceived 
the admirable idea of forming a society " for promoting 
useful knowledge among the British plantations in 
America," or, in other words, for connecting the aspir- 
ing science of the New World with the supercilious 
science of the Old. The members of this society were 
naturally chosen from the " Junto," a club organized 
by Franklin "for mutual improvement," when he was 
but twenty-one years old. The Junto was a serious 
club, not given to youthful frivolities, still less to 
youthful indiscretions. It met, indeed, in a tavern ; 
but the members asked each other difficult questions, 
such as " Is there any essential difference between the 
electric fluid and elementary fire ? " or " What becomes 
of the water constantly flowing into the Mediter- 
ranean?" and took a sincere pleasure in endeavouring 
to answer them. In fact, they solemnly promised, on 
admission, not only to love truth for truth's sake, but 
to receive it impartially themselves, and to communi- 
cate it industriously to others. 

Here was exactly the material needed by Franklin 



for the formation of a Philosophical Society. Young 
men who diverted themselves in this exemplary manner 
were surely born to be philosophers. Nevertheless, 
the old Junto did not, as is commonly supposed, melt 


at once into the new organization. It held together 
as a club until 1766, when it became the formidable 
"American Society for promoting and propagating 
Useful Knowledge ; " and it was not until three years 
later that the Philosophical Society and the American 
Society united their forces, and became one. Franklin 


was elected the first president of the combined fraterni- 
ties, and held that position until his death. Richard 
Penn, the most affable of the proprietors, consented to 
act as patron. The Quaker Assembly looked with 
favour upon philosophers who proposed to push their 
investigations into practical matters, and who, in the 
intervals of discussing the best form of government, 
or the secret of happiness, were not above a care for 
smoky chimneys, and a farmer-like regard for manures. 
In fact, " the useful science of agriculture " occupied a 
great deal of their leisure and attention. Franklin's 
enthusiasm for rice equalled Napoleon's for beets, or 
Edmund Burke's for carrots. Thomas Jefferson, who 
was at one time president of the philosophers as well 
as of the United States, designed a model plough, 
almost as good in its way as Franklin's model stove. 
The Assembly generously voted a thousand pounds to 
assist the Society in planting mulberry trees for the 
benefit of silkworms, which were to be invited to 
emigrate to the New World and feed on them. 

'* Botany, medicine, mineralogy, chemistry, mining, 
mechanics, arts, trades, manufactures, geography, and 
topography," also appear on the list of subjects to be 
studied and discussed ; yet, even under this severe pres- 
sure of erudition, the genial philosophers found time to 
give themselves, and occasionally their neighbours, very 
good dinners, and to turn their minds to the considera- 
tion of those practical details which philosophy is wont 


to ignore, but upon which the comfort of colonial life 
was largely dependent. This was in keeping with 
Franklin's character, and avowed inclinations. " No 
other writer," says Mr. MacMaster, "has pointed out so 
clearly the way to obtain the greatest amount of com- 
fort out of life ; " and the old panegyrist who penned 
this glowing tribute, — 

" Immortal Franklin, whose unwearied mind 
Still sought out every good for all mankind ; 
Searched every science, studious still to know, 
To make men virtuous, and to keep them so," 

would have been nearer the mark if he had written 
the last line, — 

" To make men prosperous, and to keep them so." 

To increase the comfort and prosperity, as well 
as the scholarship of the province, was the laudable 
ambition of the Philosophical Society. Its members, 
drawn from every creed and every rank of life, present 
a curious medley of colonial pundits. David Ritten- 
house, the astronomer, who succeeded Franklin as 
president ; ex-governor Hamilton, the distinguished 
leader of the proprietary party ; and Brother Jabetz, 
Prior of the Ephrata cloister, who was wont to walk 
eighty miles, it is said, to attend the meetings, and 
whose tall spare figure in flowing robe, girt by a 
hempen cord, added a charming element of pictu- 
resqueness, as well as a flavour of asceticism which 


seemed just what the philosophers required. It was 
this unworldly monk who, after the Revolution, trans- 
lated the Declaration of Independence into seven 
languages, and proved himself of great service to the 
State in reading diplomatic correspondence. Tradition 
says that for all this work he never demanded, and 
alas ! never received a penny of pay from a too thrifty 
government. The Prior, however often he may have 
walked the eighty miles, had neglected to learn one 
important lesson from the lips of Franklin, who would 
have, taught him plainly that the labourer is worthy of 
his hire. 

The first momentous task undertaken by the Philo- 
sophical Society was the scientific observation of the 
transit of Venus, in 1769. This was an enterprise re- 
quiring a large expenditure of money, as well as the 
closest care and calculation ; but it was the looked-for 
opportunity for the colonial scientists to associate them- 
selves with the scientists of Europe, and to add their 
quota to the accurate information of the world. Ob- 
servatories were erected in Philadelphia, in Norristown, 
and at Cape Henlopen. The Assembly voted one hun- 
dred pounds for the purchase of a telescope. Thomas 
Penn sent a second admirable telescope from England. 
The day of the transit, June third, was one of unbroken 
clearness and brilliancy, nature having abandoned her 
usual perversity for this ever memorable occasion ; and 
the observations taken were so completely successful 


that Dr. Maskelyne, the astronomer royal, pronounced 
them enthusiastically to be an honour to Pennsylvania, 
and to all the learned gentlemen whose indefatigable 
exertions had accomplished this splendid result. 

With the approach of war, the zeal of the philoso- 
phers for scientific research grew visibly less. It was 
not a time for study ; and during three tumultuous 
years the Society never held a single meeting. Its 
members were mostly occupied in making history, 
and had scant leisure for the calm pursuit of agricul- 
ture or astronomy. On the fifth of March, 1779, they % 
reassembled to gather up the broken threads of their 
past work ; and a year later they were granted their 
first charter, and a lot of ground adjoining the State 
House on which to build a hall. In 1787 this hall was 
completed, and still stands undesecrated, save in a few 
details, by modern renovations. Here on their dusty 
shelves are the ancient volumes which Franklin and 
Rittenhouse handled ; here are many curious relics of 
the Society's vigorous youth, and of days so long past 
we have well-nigh forgotten the lessons that they 
taught us. In one of these beautiful rooms Wash- 
ington was painted by the three Peales, and the 
historic mantel-shelf which forms the background of 
the portrait has now, alas ! been dug from the wall, 
and banislied as lumber to the cellar. When La 
Fayette returned to America, the Philosophical Society 
entertained him under its own roof-tree, and Mr. 


Charles Ingersoll delivered an address of such flat- 
tering eloquence that it would have abashed NajDoleon, 
and made Ca)sar blush beneath his civic wreath, though, 
to the insatiable vanity of the genial Frenchman, it 
was probably no more than a bare recognition of his 

Among the philosophers may be found long lists of 
distinguished names, both European and American. 
Noah Webster, Washington Irving, George Bancroft, 
Dr. Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Louis Agassiz, and 
Joseph Leidy were members. Even women are not 
altogether lacking from the rolls. Mrs. Somerville, 
Mrs. Agassiz, and Mrs. Seller were elected as valued 
members ; and also that very different exponent of 
feminine scholarship, rich in knowledge and in many 
experiences, the Princess Daschkof. The Empress 
was not pleased at her favourite's acceptance of the 
proffered honour. Catherine the Second never liked 
Benjamin Franklin, and had scant tolerance for his 
philosophy. She refused coldly to receive him, and 
refused to give any reason for her denial. It was not 
for the ruler of all the Russias to cheapen her deeds 
with reasons. " I do not care for him," was the only 
opinion she ever vouchsafed. The same imperial and 
comprehensive criticism was passed by Elizabeth of 
England upon John Knox, when she forbade him Eng- 
lish soil. 



rpHE birth of law in Philadelphia was as modest 
as the birth of learning, at least so far as out- 
ward circumstances were concerned. When Penn 
returned for the first time to England in 1684, he 
left the little Letitia House to his secretary, Mark- 
ham, and directed that it should be at the service of 
the Provincial Council. The wine and beer stored 
in the cellar were placed at the disposal of the 
deputy governor, Thomas Lloyd, "for the use of 



strangers," a kindly and hospitable thought. Penn's 
periwigs, which were of the finest order, were also 
consigned to the care of Lloyd, who was permitted 
to wear them during their owner's absence, and had, 
as it chanced, an admirable opportunity to wear 
them out in the fifteen years that followed. The 
Letitia House was, accordingly, for some time the 
State House of the province ; and in its small, low- 
ceilinged rooms the men who carried their country's 
cares upon their shoulders met in anxious delibera- 
tion. Four years later, we find Penn writing that he 
fears the cottage is too contracted for such a pur- 
pose, and that the Council should have a building 
fitted to its needs. The Council thought otherwise. 
Debt was a thing its members abhorred as only 
Quakers can, and money was hard to find in the 
prosperous little colony, already drained of gold by 
the number and variety of its imports. So for 
twenty-five years the lawmakers of the province 
met wherever they could find accommodation, — 
under the roofs of private citizens, in schoolrooms, 
and in the Quaker meeting-house. Those were 
primitive, almost Arcadian days, when the character 
of public men, and the nature of the laws they en- 
acted, were deemed of greater importance than stone 
walls, marble floors, and upholstery. The country 
court-house, the "Towne House" as it was called, 
was finished in 1709, and in this unpretentious little 



building the Colonial Assembly and the Supreme 
Court of the province held their sessions. It was 
not until the issue of paper currency made money 

• - > 

'•>C«'> ,'»jw ^ 

IT. C-^« 


seem more abundant, and relaxed the vigilant econ- 
omy of our forefathers, that Philadelphia aspired to 
a State House of her own ; and even after two 
thousand pounds had been appropriated to this pur- 
pose in 1729, the work proceeded very slowly, and 


with a due regard to the reluctance of tax-payers, — 
a class of people who, however contumeliously they 
may be treated now, were then held in the greatest 
consideration and esteem. 

In 1785 tlie Assembly met for the first time in the 
new State House, which was still far from finished. 
The great chamber now known as Independence 
Hall was not completed until seven years later ; the 
modest wooden steeple was not added until 1751. 
A bell was felt to be an imperative necessity, and 
was ordered forthwith from England, its cost not to 
exceed two hundred pounds. It was cast in White- 
chapel, and around its sides ran the prophetic words, 
"Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land, to all 
the Inhabitants thereof." This English bell, to the 
bitter disappointment of the colonists, was cracked 
at its first trial by a stroke of its own clapper, and 
had to be recast in Philadelphia before it was hung 
honourably in the little steeple which had been built 
for its accommodation. The graceful outlines of 
the State House, an admirable example of colonial 
architecture, full of dignity, and with an exquisite 
sense of fitness and proportion, were rendered still 
more charming to the eye by the deep green of the 
magnificent trees that surrounded it. These vet- 
erans of the primeval forest, the last survivors in 
Philadelphia of the mighty woods which had gained 
for Pennsylvania its sylvan name, were sacrificed, 


one by one, to the indifference or the dislike of the 
colonists. Penn had dearly loved the deep shadows 
of their spreading branches. He had hoped and de- 
sired that his settlers would spare the trees when 
possible, and would build their homes at reasonable 
distances, "so that there may be ground on each 
side for gardens or orchards, and that the town may 
be a green country town, which will never be burned, 
and always be wholesome." 

But the early Philadelphians pressed their houses 
closer and closer together, and they cut down their 
beautiful trees to economize space, or under the strange 
pretext of guarding "against fire and stagnant air." 
The State House was gradually denuded of its green 
girdle, and stood bare and desolate until after the 
Revolution ; when more room was added to its shabby 
enclosure, new trees were planted, new walks laid out, 
a new brick wall built to protect it from vulgar intru- 
sion, and, under the new and dignified name of Inde- 
pendence Square, the old State House yard became 
for a few years a fashionable loitering-place, upon 
whose genteel and urban charms Philadelphia poets 
wrote stilted verses in the columns of the local press. 

There were other and far different scenes, however, 
to be enacted on this hallowed ground before the 
citizens of the young Republic had leisure for sylvan 
strolls and verse-making. No building in the United 
States has an historic interest comparable to that of 



the Philadelphia State House, the birthplace of our 
national life. Its venerable walls heard the vehement 
denunciations hurled against the Stamp Act, and the 
still more vehement resolutions which sent Captain 
Ayres and his ship-load of tea back to the port of 


London. Here, after the battle of Lexington, as- 
sembled that eager, angry crowd who expressed the 
sentiments of the wliole people in a single curt resolu- 
tion, " to defend with arms their property^ liberty, and 
lives." Here Washington was appointed, by the second 
Continental Congress, commander-in-chief of the army ; 


and here Richard Henry Lee of Virginia moved on the 
seventh of June, 1776, that " these United Colonies are, 
and of right ought to be, free and independent States ; 
that they are absolved from all allegiance to the 
British Crown, and that all political connection be- 
tween them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought 
to be, totally dissolved.'' 

From the little observatory, the "awful platform," 
as John Adams calls it, that had been erected in the 
State House yard for the peaceful study of Venus, 
the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to 
the people of Philadelphia, — to the few at least who 
gathered to hear it, and by whom it was received in 
serious and puzzled silence. The dramatic side of this 
great historic event was not, as has been often ob- 
served, apparent to men who thought less of the docu- 
ment itself, than of how it was to be supported and 
enforced. They had thrilled with \ anger and pity 
when Boston called to them for help. They had 
exulted jubilantly over the repeal of the Stamp Act, 
and had watched with proud hearts the last white sail 
of Captain Ayres' tea ship, Polly^ as she turned sea- 
ward with her hated cargo. But it was no longer a 
time for passing resolutions, and rejecting tea. Grim 
war was at their doors, and the horror of it sobered 
their enthusiasm, and chilled the first wild rapture of 
defiance. The men who signed their names to the 
Declaration of Independence realized to the utmost all 


the consequences it involved, and the terrible responsi- 
bility they had placed upon their own shoulders. The 
State House bell rang out its message, proclaiming for 
the first time '' liberty throughout all the land, to all 
the inhabitants thereof"; but the people listened 
gravely, and with no apparent response. Those who 
knew what it meant, knew also that liberty is not to be 
won by proclamation, but bought with the life-blood 
of brave men who die that their brothers may be free. 





TT^OR nearly a century the history of Philadelphia is 
a placid record of unbroken good fortune. The 
tireless wrangling of two great conflicting interests 
injured the province very little, and gave her that most 
precious boon, — a standing quarrel which could be 
taken up by the combatants whenever they had leisure 
to engage in it. Had the Assembly and the proprie- 
tary party worked together in accord, the colonists 
would have suffered grievously from the benumbing 
of those angry passions which childhood is bidden to 
restrain, but which make life a thing of abounding 
interest to healthily contentious men. The Indian 
wars, though they cost Pennsylvania both troops and 
money, left the city undevastated by the horrors which 
dyed deep with blood the annals of less fortunate com- 
munities. The stubborn and conservative Quakers 
guarded their town — Penn's precious legacy — with a 
wise watchfulness, and she waxed fairer and stronger 
every year. Her prosperity was not, indeed, a matter 
of sudden acquisition, like the affluence of New Zea- 
land, where, Mr. Froude assures us, the labourers eat 



hot-house grapes. It was built up on solid foundations 
of industry and thrift, having Franklin's maxims for 
its week-day sermons, and Franklin's shining example 
to illustrate the text. The man who amassed his fort- 
une penny by penny, and retired from business at the 
early age of forty-two, with a modest income of three 
thousand dollars, taught his neighbours a triple lesson 
of assiduity, economy, and moderation. It is only to 
be regretted that the edifying spectacle of colonial 
honour and enterprise should be marred by the dark 
shadow of privateering. In the Spanish war, and in 
King George's war, the virtuous Quaker City sent forth 
these armed marauders to snatch what prey they could ; 
and that she was proud of their success, and pointed 
them out with elation to strangers visiting her busy 
docks, proves the exactness of Sydney Smith's cynical 
observation anent the stanch moral support to be 
derived from the most dubious of theories. 

The increasing wealth of the province manifested 
itself in farmhouses so strongly and admirably built 
that time leaves no impression on their massive 
walls ; in country-seats more spacious and beautiful 
than could be found in any other State save Virginia ; 
in the fast-growing luxury of town life ; and in a 
sane philanthropy, devoid of whims and sentiment. 
The charity of the Quakers has always extended to 
the bodies as well as to the souls of men. In 1713, 
when the city was still in its infancy, they built " for 



the habitation and succour of the poor and unfortu- 
nate," the pretty rural cottages long known as the 

•"^•- -V:^ #-/• 


Quaker almshouses. Each cottage had its patch of 
ground, where the aged inmates — unshamed by the 


stigma of pauperism — cultivated bright flowers and 
healing herbs. It was a peaceful haven, affording, 
not only shelter, but, as an old historian earnestly 
assures us, "opportunities for study and meditation." 
We smile when we read the words, but we sigh, 
too, recalling the bleak desolation, the abiding horror 
of a modern almshouse, and comparing it with the 
decent privacy of the happier poor nearly two hun- 
dred years ago, when the wisdom of our forefathers 
drew a deep line of distinction between the old and 
helpless, "the afflicted of God," and the sturdy beg- 
gar or shameless wench, for whom was made sharper 
and sterner provision. It is to the Quaker alms- 

" Home of the homeless, 
Then in the suburbs it stood, in the midst of meadows and 

that tradition points as the final meeting-place of 
Gabriel and Evangeline ; and antiquarians who dis- 
prove the story with aggressive and importunate 
details might find a better use for their time and 
knowledge. In the graveyard of old St. Joseph's 
— hidden away in Willing's Alley from the wrath 
of hostile creeds — the lovers slept side by side : 
and the clamour of a great city echoed but faintly 
through the narrow, walled-in strip of consecrated 
ground, where, after so many years of sorrowful 
wandering, their faithful hearts found rest. 


What the college was to the Episcopal and pra 
prietary party in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Hos- 
pital was to the Quakers, — a party stronghold, as 
well as a cherished and admirably administered insti- 
tution. On its ancient corner-stone was cut deep 
this cheerful and devout inscription : — 

"In the year of Christ MDCCLV, 
George the second happily reigning, 
(For he sought the happiness of his people) 
Philadelphia flourishing, 
(For its inhabitants were public-spirited) 

This Building 
By the bounty of the government, 
And of many private persons, 

Was piously founded 
For the relief of the sick and the miserable. 

May the God of Mercies bless the undertaking." 

Of the public spirit here gratefully commemorated, 
the erection of this hospital gives abiding proof. 
When, in 1750, Dr. Thomas Bond and a few chari- 
table citizens realized the necessity of providing 
shelter for "sick and distempered strangers," their 
appeal for funds met with an immediate response. 
The Assembly voted at different times five thousand 
pounds to help them with the work. All classes 
endeavoured honestly to assist. An especial sub- 
scription was asked from "rich widows and other 
single women," and they answered nobly by raising 


a fund sufificient for the purchase of drugs. Al- 
though most of the money came from the Quakers, 
who kept the hospital always under their control, 
yet other churches contributed with amazing gener- 
osity. The pious free-lance, Whitelield, collected, 
. after an ardent and persuasive sermon, one hundred 
and seventy pounds. England, ever liberal to colo- 
nial charities, lent such material aid that the directors 
found their burden almost easy to bear. An Act of 
Parliament gave to the hospital all the unclaimed 
funds remaining in the hands of the trustees of the 
Pennsylvania Land Company in London, and this 
extraordinary windfall amounted to thirteen thousand 
pounds. The Proprietors, Thomas and Richard Penn, 
gave a portion of the land on which the building was 
erected, and an annuity of forty pounds a year. 
Finally, Dr. John Fothergill of London sent a beau- 
tifully articulated human skeleton, and so admir- 
able a collection of anatomical models and drawings 
that the thrifty Friends refused to exhibit them 
gratuitously to the public. They were placed in a 
room apart, and Dr. Shippen explained them learn- 
edly every other Saturday afternoon to such seek- 
ers after knowledge as were willing to pay a dollar 
for its acquisition. 

It does not surprise us to find the name of Benjamin 
Franklin on the first board of managers. In point of 
fact, a Philadelphia board of managers which did not 


include Franklin would have been as great an anomaly 
as a Roman or a Florentine church without a trace of 
Michelangelo. It was Franklin who drew up the very 
sensible rules for the direction of the hospital, Franklin 
who was elected president of the board in 1756, and 
Franklin who characteristically proposed the distribu- 
tion of tin boxes, lettered in gold, " Charity for the 
Hospital," and destined to receive the chance donations 
of benevolent friends and visitors. A penny given 
was a penny made, and the yearly reports of the insti- 
tution show how much of its income was derived from 
the small contributions of well-wishers whose narrow 
means forbade' a larger dole. Gifts of various kinds 
were proffered by prominent citizens ; among them a 
second skeleton (skeletons were rare enough to be 
held in high esteem) which, being presented by Miss 
Deborah Morris, after the death of her brother. Dr. 
Benjamin Morris, was, we are assured, "gratefully 
received, and honourably deposited in the apothecary's 

The site on which the hospital was erected — not 
without long contention, for the Proprietors had wished 
to donate a less available piece of ground — was ad- 
mirably chosen, and the building itself, like all other 
important buildings of the time, is a model of dignified 
simplicity, finely proportioned, and free from meretri- 
cious decoration. It is well for us who live in an age 
of over-ornamentation that we can rest our weary 




eyes upon the graceful severity of colonial architecture 
Avhere nothing needless can be found. The ample 
lawn was shaded by two rows of beautiful trees 
planted by Hugh Roberts, one of the first managers, 
in 1756, and among them grew and flourished a scion 
of the famous Treaty Elm, pleasantly refuting the 
slanderous tongues which mocked that historic monu- 
ment, that mute witness of a n^ttion's peace. 

The prosperity of the hospital was unbroken, its 
efficiency unimpaired, until the dark days which fol- 
lowed the Revolution, when the terrible depreciation 
of the currency, the chaotic confusion of the public 
service, and the determination of the legislature to tax 
charitable institutions, crippled and well-nigh ruined 
it. Resolute labour and resolute resistance on the part 
of the managers averted the impending shipwreck, but 
years dragged by before the old sphere of quiet useful- 
ness was even partially regained. It is pleasant to 
record that at this juncture the First Troop of Phila- 
delphia City Cavalry gave to the Pennsylvania Hospital 
the entire sum received by it for services during the 
Revolutionary war ; and the maternity ward for poor 
married women was built and endowed with this 
money. A very different, but equally welcome donation 
was the picture of " Christ Healing the Sick," which 
Benjamin West generously presented to the institution 
in 1817, and which awakened such enthusiasm in the 
hearts of our uncritical grandfathers that the adroit 


managers of the hospital — mindful still of Dr. Frank- 
lin's maxims — placed it on exhibition, and realized 
nearly twenty thousand dollars from the eager crowds 


who thronged to see it. The big canvas is a replica 
of the painting originally intended by West for" Phila- 
delphia; but which, wlien it was seen in London, 


excited, we are told, " such a glow of admiration that 
nobles and commons, rich and poor, united in the de- 
termination to retain it in the country." Verily, an 
artist so blessed by the patronage, so burdened by the 
praises of his own generation, might well afford indif- 
ference to the acrimonious verdicts of posterity. 

It was not in philanthropy alone, in the building of 
almshouses, libraries and hospitals, that the rich colo- 
nists of the Quaker City found a use for their ample 
incomes. They spent their money, after a reasonable 
fashion, upon creature comforts, and in moderate dis- 
play. Within their red brick houses, " stately and three 
stories high, in the mode of London," writes Gabriel 
Thomas as early as 1696, reigned security and modest 
affluence. Balconies and sun-dials lent to these demure 
homes an occasional air of gayety and picturesqueness. 
" Every necessary for the Support of Life throughout 
the whole Year," might be found in the far-famed 
Philadelphia markets ; and, if we may trust the evi- 
dence of colonial letters and diaries, more ingenuous 
and less jubilant as a rule than colonial chroniclers, 
our forefathers heartily enjoyed the good things which 
Providence had kindly placed at their disposal. In 
the published journal of Jacob Hiltzheimer, who lived 
to see the Revolution, and was apparently but little 
interested in that great crisis, we find such scandalous 
entries as this : " Feb. 14th, 1766. At noon went to 
William Jones's, to drink punch ; met several of my 


friends, and got decently drunk. The groom could 
not be accused of the same fault." Whether this means 
that the groom drank not at all, or that his libations 
went beyond the limits of decency, does not very 
clearly appear ; but noon seems an early hour to settle 
down seriously to punch, even on Saint Valentine's 
day. On other occasions we read that Mr. Hiltzheimer 
went with his two sons and Daniel Wister to Joseph 
Galloway's place, "to eat turtle," — a more innocent 
indulgence ; that on the tenth of May he saw a " ten- 
pound race between Joseph Hogg's and John Bucking- 
ham's horses " ; and that — being well disposed to 
divers sorts of entertainment — he found equal pleasure 
in bull-baiting, and in witnessing the performance of 
"Romeo and Juliet," at the Old Southwark Theatre. 
An opportunity for especial festivity was the King's 
birthday, June 4th, when he dined on the green 
banks of the Schuylkill, in company with three hun- 
dred and eighty loyal citizens, all in most jovial 
humour. Any number of healths were drunk at this 
gay repast, "among them Dr. P>anklin's, which gave 
great satisfaction to everybody." A long boat was 
then dragged to the water's edge and launched, while 
the firing of "many great guns" announced King 
George's birthday to the town. 

No one was better disposed towards a moderate 
conviviality than Franklin himself, for all his maxims 
and apothegms. In tliat old house on High Street 


where he lived and died, where, in the garden, he 
flew his immortal kite, and where he attached his 
own lightning-rod to his own wall, thereby greatly 
entertaining his curious neighbours, there reigned 
always hospitality and good cheer. True, he sent 
his sister Jane a spinning-wheel instead of the 
coveted tea-table, desiring her to be a "notable 
housewife." True, he recommended the " Whole 
Duty of Man," and the "Young Lady's Library," 
as proper reading for his daughter Sally, in place of 
the novels for which her spirit yearned. But, never- 
theless, there remains now in the possession of the 
Pennsylvania Historical Society that delightful punch- 
keg which could be rolled so easily from guest to 
guest, and which carried the generous liquor circling 
around Franklin's board. A curious little keg this, 
pretty, portly, and altogether unlike other punch- 
bowls left us from colonial days. And what of that 
often quoted letter written by Franklin in England to 
his wife, and promising her, not spinning-wheels and 
decorous dull books, but the foreign crockery dear to 
the hearts of all colonial dames. Yet not every spouse 
would have felt pleased by this dubious compliment 
from an absent husband. 

"I also forgot to mention among the china a large 
fine jug for beer, to stand in the cooler. I fell in 
love with it at first sight ; for I thought it looked 
like a fat jolly dame, clean and tidy, with a neat 


blue and white calico gown on, good-natured and 
lovely, and put me in mind of — somebody. " 

Praise is not always charming. Had Mrs. Frank- 
lin loved poetry as well as she loved her husband, 
which happily does not seem to have been the case, 
she would have felt more pain than pleasure at hear- 
ing her merits extolled by him in such halting verses 
as these : — 

"Not a word of her face, of her shape, or her air, 

Or of flames, or of darts, you shall hear; 
• I beauty admire, but virtue I prize, 
That fades not in seventy year. 

* Ik * * 

"In peace and good order my household she guides, 
Right careful to save what I gain ; 
Yet cheerfully spends, and smiles on the friends 
I've the pleasure to entertain." 

Well, the lines show at least that Franklin did 
like to entertain his friends, and that it gladdened 
him to see his wife lay aside her customary frugality 
on those blithesome occasions, when the punch-keg 
went rolling round. Mrs. Franklin — being but a 
woman, albeit a great man's helpmate — found per- 
chance a keener- joy in furnishing her house than in 
feeding her husband's guests. There is a delightful 
blending of conscious thrift and timorous extrava- 
gance in the account she writes him of her modestly 
garnished chambers. 


"The chairs downstairs are plain horsehair, and 
look as well as Paduasoy, and are admired by all. 
In the little sonth room is a carpet I bought cheap 
for its goodness, and nearly new. In the parlour is 
a Scotch carpet which has much fault found with it. 
In the north room, where we sit, we have a small 
Scotch carpet, the small bookcase, brother John's pict- 
ure, and one of the King and Queen. In the room 
for our friends we have the Earl of Bute hung up, 
and a glass." 

The simplicity of the philosopher's surroundings 
contrasted sharply with the beauty and elegance of 
more pretentious dwellings ; with Edward Shippen's 
house, for example, which is described by a contem- 
porary chronicler as a veritable palace of delights, 
girt by an ample park, " and having a very famous 
and pleasant summer-house erected in the middle of 
his garden, abounding with tulips, pinks, carnations, 
roses, and lilies, not to mention those that grew wild 
in the fields ; and also a fine lawn upon which reposed 
his herd of tranquil deer." 

A herd of deer reposing on South Second Street 
seems as strange an anomaly as the concealed staircase, 
the "priest's escape," in James Logan's country-seat, 
"Stenton." Who in that dignified and law-abiding 
household could ever have needed to escape, save 
from importunate visitors, or from the friendly Ind- 
ians who came again and again to Logan, as to 


their truest ally, seeking counsel and aid in their 
difficulties. It was not unusual for several hundred 
Indians to stay a week encamped in the S teuton 
woods, and treated always with the greatest kind- 
ness and hospitality by the master of the house, whose 
public duties left him scant leisure for rest. Small 
wonder that Cannassetego, chief of the Onondagas, 



^* V /. ' 


*iD. ^ 

bewailed the approaching end of their most trusted 
friend, and touchingly entreated the Council that 
when Logan's soul went to God, another might be 
chosen in his place, "of the same prudence and 
ability in counselling, and of the same tender dis- 
position and affection for the Indians." 

The beauty of Stenton lay in its broad lands, its 
superb avenue of hemlocks, which tradition pleasantly 


but mendaciously asserted to have been planted by 
William Penn, its lofty wainscoted rooms, its gener- 
ous fireplaces, ornamented with blue and white tiles, 
its graceful staircase, — that test of colonial architect- 
ure, — its air of dignified and scholarly repose. Here, 
in the well-lit library, were ranged those noble old 
books which subsequently became the city's legacy ; 
and looking at them w^ith love and pride, their owner 
felt a not unreasonable regret that no one in the 
future was likely to cherish them as he did. " I 
have four children now with me," he writes to 
Thomas Story in 1734, " who I think take more after 
their mother than me, which I am sure thou wilt not 
dislike in them ; yet if they had more of a mixture, 
it might be of some use to bring them through the 
world ; and it sometimes gives me an anxious thought 
that my considerable collections of Greek and Roman 
authors, with others in various languages, will not 
find an heir in my family to use them as I have 
done, but after my decease may be sold or squan- 
dered away." 

If ghosts can reasonably rejoice as well as groan 
and rattle chains, then must the spirit of James 
Logan, scholar and statesman, have exulted over the 
patient toil of his grandson's wife, heir of his name 
though not of his blood, as she faithfully and intel- 
ligently sorted, copied and annotated the important 
letters stored in the Stenton library, and wrought 


from them a lasting record of his life and work. 
The " Penn and Logan Papers," with their wealth of 
historic and colonial interest, might never have seen 
the light, had not Deborah Logan worked year after 
year with unwearied and unrewarded fidelity in those 
too scant hours of leisure which the mistress of a 
large and busy household could dare to call her own. 

We think of Quakers now as clad perpetually in 
sober drab, with close bonnets or broad-brimmed 
hats ; but for many years after the founding of Phila- 
delphia they wore no exclusive costumes, contenting 
themselves with avoiding in a general way the allure- 
ments of fashion and finery. Hence the stern warn- 
ings, the sharp reproofs directed from time to time 
against those daughters of Eve who yearned after 
fancy fig-leaves, who let their hair stray wantonly 
over their brows, or sought to widen their modest 
petticoats with the seductive crinoline. As Thomas 
Chalkley vigorously but vainly remarked, "If Al- 
mighty God should make a woman in the same Shape 
her hoop makes her, Everybody would say truly it was 
monstrous ; so according to this real truth they make 
themselves Monsters by art." 

Nor were the female Friends averse to glowing 
colours, remembering perhaps Penn's sky-blue sash 
which gave them warrant for their weakness. Their 
silk aprons rivalled the rainbow, and not infrequently 
their gowns were of red or green, instead of that dove- 


like hue which Whittier loved and praised. Sir God- 
frey Kiieller's portrait of Sarah, elder daughter of 
James Logan of Stenton, and wife of Isaac Norris of 
Fairhill, shows us a stately young woman dressed in 
deep blue, and with the air of an English court 
beauty rather than a colonial Quaker matron. Thomas 
Lloyd's daughter, Mary, who married Isaac Norris the 
elder, is also painted in a blue gown relieved with 
crimson ; and her granddaughter, Mary Dickinson, 
appears all in red, that deep seducing red which the 
Paris artists of to-day love better than any other 
shade. These women, despite their partiality for vivid 
tints, were strict Quakers, but Quakers upon whom 
the rigid rules of an exclusive costume had yet to be 
imposed. Perhaps Mrs. Dickinson was one of the 
last to rejoice in the glory of colour, for we find her 
daughter, Maria Logan, painted in the orthodox dress 
of the Friends, and presenting a curious contrast to 
her resplendent kinsfolk. There is ample evidence 
to show that the scarlet cloaks so popular in provincial 
England (who does not remember poor ill-fated Syl- 
via's?) found their way over the ocean, and created 
much disturbance among the sober-minded and austere. 
That one of these gay garments, " almost new, with a 
double cape," was stolen from Franklin's house in 1750, 
proves that the philosopher did not seek to restrain 
the natural longing of wife and daughter for the 
shining, dress-laden booths of Vanity Fair. 


Gayer mid ^^ayer grew the Quaker City that had 
been so deniuie in childhood. Coaches emblazoned 
with heraldic devices rolled through the ill-paved 
streets. In the bitter cold of winter days the frozen 
Delaware was covered with merry throngs ; and there 
is a pleasant flavour of colonial simplicity in the inter- 
esting inforniiition, wafted along a century and more, 
that the best skaters of their day were General Cad- 
walader and Massey the biscuit-maker. In the bitter 
cold of winter nights, wax candles shone softly down 
on Philadelphia's sons and daughters, as they met for 
the famous Dancing Assemblies that date from 1749, 
and lend an air of prim worldliness to the uneventful 
annals of the town. Dancing seems never to have 
been regarded with the same stern disapprobation that 
made the theatre a forbidden joy. Whitefield, indeed, 
who was impartially opposed to cakes and ale in any 
shape, waged an earnest crusade against this, as against 
all other diversions, and set himself the serious task 
of remodelling the nature of youth. But before he 
came to make a dull world duller, the colonists who 
were not Quakers had smiled indulgently upon such 
harmless mirth ; and the Quakers, though not dan- 
cing themselves, had been serenely content that others 
should. Mr. Richard Castelman, writing in 1710, 
records with a grateful heart the kindness and courtesy 
of " the facetious Mr. Staples, the dancing-master, who 
was the first stranger of Philadelphia that did me the 


honour of a visit. To his merry company I owe the 
passing of many a sad hour, that might have hung 
heavy upon the hands of a man deprived of friends and 
fortune in an alien land." 

Thirty years later, we find several dancing-masters 
prepared to teach "fashionable English and French 
dances, after the newest and politest manner practised 
in London, Dublin, and Paris " ; and, with the per- 
fection of such accomplishments, there came naturally 
in time subscription balls, in which the graces thus 
acquired could be properly shown to the world. These 
balls, if they somewhat scandalized the elect, were 
favoured with the approbation and patronage of the 
Episcopal clergy, who were well disposed towards any 
form of entertainment which the Quakers rejected, and 
of which the Presbyterians disapproved. The Assem- 
blies were not scenes of wild dissipation, nor was there 
any excessive extravagance to provoke the direful elo- 
quence of the pulpit. They began at precisely six 
o'clock in the evening, and by midnight the dancers 
were all wending their ways homeward. The old 
subscription ticket cost forty shillings ; and for this 
moderate outlay a gentleman could take the lady of his 
choice to sixteen or eighteen entertainments, the dances 
being given every Thursday night in the winter and 
early spring. The supper was of the very lightest 
order, consisting, it was said, "chiefly of something 
to drink " ; a not inadequate description of a repast 


where five gallons of rum and two hundred limes were 
consumed in punch, and nine shillings' worth of " milk 
bisket" represented the solid food, — a half-pennyworth 
of bread to this intolerable deal of sack. Card-tables 
were prepared for the amusement of those who did 
not dance, and who appear to have been less patient 
then than now, an^ less disposed to play a purely 
passive part. 

The invitations were often printed on the undeco- 
rated backs of common playing-cards, blank cards of 
any kind being exceedingly scarce, and spades and 
hearts being only too abundant in an age which had 
not yet learned to repudiate gambling as a sadly 
unprofitable vice. No wife nor daughter of mechanic 
or tradesman Avas suffered to enter the Assemblies 
which were rigidly aristocratic, and no flippant co- 
quetry was permitted to interfere with the decorous or- 
der of procedure. The ladies who arrived earliest had 
places duly assigned them in the first set, and those 
who followed were distributed throughout other sets, 
either at the discretion of the directors, or according 
to the numbers they drew, — a melancholy arrange- 
ment, fraught, like the modern dinner, with many 
painful possibilities. It was Miss Polly Riche who 
in 1782 first revolted against this stringent rule, and 
insisted on standing up in any set she fancied, thus 
precipitating a quarrel between the gentlemen who 
supported her recusancy and the managers of the 



Assembly. But what other conduct could have been 
expected m 1782? Cornwallis had surrendered; the 
war of the Revolution was practically at an end ; inde- 
pendence had been won, and Philadelphia was slowly 
struggling to emerge from chaos into a new law and 
order. An evil time this for conservatives, as Miss 
Polly Riche doubtless understood : so she struck her 
little blow for liberty, and struck it not in vain. The 
exaltation of freedom manifested itself on all sides in 
a general disposition to obey nobody, and the hour 
was ripe for revolt. 




TTTHILE the province was growing rich in long 
years of peaceful industry, the Proprietors 
were amassing noble fortunes from the increased 
value of their quit-rents. John Penn, "the Ameri- 
can," visited Philadelphia in 1732, and was received 
with clamorous delight : flags flying, cannon thun- 
dering, addresses without stint, and a grand banquet 
which cost the town exactly forty pounds, twelve 
shillings, and twopence. It is pleasant to find the 
little twopence so faithfully and accurately recorded. 
Thomas Penn, John's younger and cleverer brother, 
lived for nine years in the colony, and showed equal 
ability in the management of public affairs and of his 
own interests. He had more than his father's shrewd- 
ness, but lacked the distinction of character which 
made Pennsylvania's Founder a marked man, whether 
he lived in the two-storied Letitia House, or in the 
courts of kings. Thomas had no mind for two-story 
cottages. He purchased in 1760 Stoke Park, which 
had been the home of Sir Christopher Hatton in the 
days of Queen Elizabeth ; and his son John made of 



this noble old place, and of Pennsylvania Castle, his 
other country-seat on the Isle of Portland, two great 
estates, famous during half a century for their ele- 
gance and beauty. 

There is no denying that it was the persistent 
peace policy of the Quakers which secured for Penn- 
sylvania its unmarred prosperity, and that this policy 
received the support of the people, notwithstanding 
the clamour raised by angry and belligerent agitators. 
What did the Quaker Assembly care if Spanish 
privateers flaunted their hostile colours in Delaware 
Bay ? They knew enough about privateering them- 
selves to be well aware that no serious injury was to 
be feared from these rovers of the sea, who preferred 
robbing to fighting any day, and who sought easier 
prey than a town protected by the dangerous shoals 
in its river bed. The war with Spain seemed no con- 
cern of Philadelphia's, and for a long time the wars 
between France and England fretted her but faintly. 
She protected her merchant ships with convoys, and 
she listened calmly to glowing harangues, mostlj^ 
preached from Episcopal pulpits, which described the 
horrors to come : the city wrapped in flames, fathers 
slain, children homeless and weeping, desolation and 
ruin everywhere, — all because the Quakers would 
neither fight themselves, nor vote money to pay for 
fighting men. Pamphlets circulated at this time 
resemble in tone the appeals made to rural and pro- 



vincial England, when every week brought a fresh 
rumour that Napoleon and his troops had landed 
upon English soil. 

Occasionally, but not often, the Quakers put forth 
a defensive pamphlet of their own. They were never 
much addicted to talking nor to printing ; and the 
wealth of argument, animadversion, and personal ap- 
plication of strong passages from Holy Writ, launched 
at their devoted heads, won little response, save that 
of quiet and obstinate resistance. Abusing them was 
like hurling a missile against a padded wall ; there 
was not even a rebound. The Assembly was as willing 
that Franklin should organize the first militia com- 
pany as that he should organize the first fire brigade. 
It even permitted him to buy gunpowder Avith some 
of the money voted for "wheat and other grains," 
and serene Friends frankly acknowledged that they 
did not condemn the use of arms in those who 
thought it right to bear them. But they were 
determined that the peace of the province should 
not be lightly broken, and they were disposed to 
temporize as far as possible when the growing hos- 
tility of the Indians brought real danger close to 
their city's doors. 

The cause of this hostility is not hard to find. 
Every year, as the colony increased, it became more 
difficult to control the frontiersmen, who had no 
scruples in occupying the Indians' land, and no hesi- 


tation in shooting the Indians, if they presumed to 
interfere. Sturdy farmers, Scotch-Irish and Ger- 
mans principally, deemed it as preposterous to talk 
about the rights of savages as the rights of wolves 
and foxes. God never intended the fertile soil to be 
wasted on wandering heathens. Even Franklin philo- 
sophically remarked that rum, which had already 
wrought dreadful havoc among the tribes of the sea- 
coast, was perhaps the means appointed by Provi- 
dence to destroy a race that blocked the way of 
advancing civilization. The shameful " Walking Pur- 
chase " was another wrong that sank deeply in the 
Indians' hearts. They knew they had been outwitted 
by the Proprietors, and they felt themselves at the 
mercy of the Six Nations, whom the white men had 
summoned as allies. The Albany Treaty of 1754, by 
which the colonists gained the fertile land lying west 
of the Susquehanna, destroyed the last sentiments of 
good-will that lingered in the red men's souls. 
Driven practically out of Pennsylvania, and forced 
to seek shelter amid alien tribes, their anger and 
deep humiliation made them only too ready to listen 
to the wily advances of the French, who were then 
planning a chain of forts to stretch from the Great 
Lakes to New Orleans. That tenacious memory of 
the Indian, which never permitted him to forget 
either benefit or injury, had its serious inconven- 
iences. He was still well disposed towards the 


Quakers, still loved and honoured the name of Wil- 
liam Penn, '' the white truth-teller," who had so con- 
sistently practised what he preached. Hut new 
wrongs could no more be forgotten than old friend- 
ships. The long peace of seventy years which Penn 
had bequeathed to his colony was drawing to a close ; 
and the savages, once helpless as well as harmless, 
but now made sullen by ill-usage, and dangerous by 
the French alliance, had become a menace to the safety 
of the province, pacified and bribed into inaction by 
generous presents from the Assembly. 

This was a state of things which could not long 
endure. The treaty between England and France 
was broken in 1755, and Major-General Braddock 
was sent to stop the advance of the French troops 
and their Indian allies. The Assembly, though occu- 
pied at this time in a particularly lively quarrel with 
Governor Morris, recognized the greatness of the 
emergency, laid aside its scruples anent war, and 
borrow^ed twenty thousand pounds on its own credit 
to supply Braddock with horses and provisions. The 
result of the campaign is too well known to need 
another telling. Not only Macaulay's omniscient 
schoolboy, but less admirably instructed people re- 
member well what happened. Seven miles from 
Fort Du Quesne the English forces were surrounded 
by the French and Indians, and killed, easily and 
ruthlessly, like wild beasts in a trap. Of thirteen 


hundred men, only four hundred and sixty escaped 
that dreadful slaughter; sixty-three out of eighty- 
six officers were slain or wounded. The French 
loss was slight, and the fifty or sixty Indians whom 
the hemmed-in English succeeded in shooting could 
easily be replaced. It was a massacre rather than a 
battle, and it left Pennsylvania at the mercy of her 

The time for temporizing was past. The Indians, 
savagely elate that their day of reckoning had come, 
ravaged the province, and their stealthy attacks filled 
all the land with terror and despairing rage. It was 
absolutely necessary to send troops to the frontier, 
and the Assembly was ready and eager to vote the 
necessary funds, either by a new issue of paper cur- 
rency, or by direct taxation, from which it justly 
insisted the estates of the Proprietors should no 
longer be exempt. To these measures, however. 
Governor Morris refused his consent, and for a while 
it seemed as if all the farmers of Pennsylvania 
might be scalped, because the Proprietors would not 
relinquish their privileges, nor the Assembly its con- 
stitutional rights. Happily, before the country was 
rendered wholly desolate, a compromise was reached. 
Thomas Penn offered in his own name, and in the 
names of his brothers, to contribute five thousand 
pounds towards the expenses of the war; the Assem- 
bly responded with equal generosity by raising the 


really noble sum of sixty thousand pounds, indepen- 
dent of the proprietary estates, and by promptly 
passing Franklin's militia bill, which sent a thousand 
sturdy men at once to the frontier. 

It is a little surprising, accustomed as we are to 
the inevitable appearance of Franklin in all emergen- 
cies, to find liiiii, not only organizing the militia, — 
there was nothing on earth he could not organize, — 
but actually marching at its head into the Lehigh 
Valley, prepared to defend his country with his sword 
or his rifle, whichever he carried,' and surpassing in 
this one respect, at least, the labours of Michel- 
angelo for Italy. He built some little forts in the 
valley, and succeeded in partially checking the Ind- 
ian raids. Only ten farmers, we are told, were 
massacred in that district during his two months' 
occupancy; and while this does not sound to us now 
like satisfactory protection, it seems to have been 
considered at the time a very creditable piece of work. 
Franklin returned to Philadelphia to be made a colonel, 
and receive the ovations of the populace ; and his fort 
at Gnadenhutten, being surprised by the savages while 
its garrison were skating one fine afternoon, the vil- 
lage it defended was burned to the ground, and 
nearly all the inhabitants slain. 

Mr. Sydney Fisher has pointed out with admirable 
accuracy and good temper that Pennsylvania, so far 
from being the languid, supine province which Mr. 


Parkman is never weary of contrasting with vigorous 
and altogether inimitable New England, was in reality 
playing an active and prominent part in these years 
of hand-to-hand struggle with the Indians. She gave 
men, and she gave money with unstinted liberality, 
but she asked in return the preservation of her own 
rights ; and the governors who fancied that the exi- 
gencies of war could be used as a weapon to wrest 
from the Assembly an authority cemented by seventy 
years of masterdom, found themselves signally mis- 
taken in their calculations. The violence of party 
spirit was now so thoroughly aroused that even a 
common danger was powerless to allay it. The 
Quakers clung stubbornly to their prerogatives, and 
their opponents appealed to England for protection, 
asserting that the safety of the colony was at stake. 
It was at this juncture that Provost Smith made his 
furious attack upon the Assembly, and the exuberant 
impetuosity of his sentiments reflected fairly the 
hostile attitude of the Episcopal and proprietary 
party. It was but natural that the Privy Council 
should lend an attentive ear to complaints urged 
against men who had ever opposed the voice of home 
authority. The Penns were assured that unless the 
Friends acted "a more rational and dutiful part," 
they should not be permitted " to continue in stations 
to perplex the government " ; and an imperious mes- 
sage was sent over the seas, condemning in no stinted 


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^.- ' > 



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terms the tardiness of the provincial rulers in prose 
cuting the war, and defending their own frontiers. 

Historic fiction is deathless. It can never be si- 
lenced nor discredited. The Quakers have always 
borne the blame for Pennsylvania's failure to beat 
back her savage foes. It is true that, when the mes- 
sage of the Privy Council was received, the Assembly 
at once passed a compulsory militia bill, and that the 
governor promptly vetoed it ; true that the Assembly 
voted a second grant of one hundred thousand pounds 
— an enormous sum in those days — for the expenses 
of the war, and that the Proprietors still refused to 
bear their share of the taxation. But these details 
are wisely ignored by historians, as both annoying 
and unmanageable. Once weakly admit such in- 
trusive facts into history, and the smoothness and 
brilliancy of the narrative is forever destroyed. 

What does seem tolerably sure, is that while Quakers 
and Episcopalians contended for mastery, the Indians 
had things pretty much their own way, and came 
within thirty miles of Philadelphia. Penn's city of 
peace bid fair to become — as in later years — the 
headquarters of war, when the wise and energetic 
measures of the elder Pitt restored some semblance 
of harmony to the combative colonists, and infused 
fresh vigour into the provincial government. The 
Prime Minister's clear eyes saw the absurdity of the 
situation, his impregnable common-sense mastered its 


difficulties. Born ruler of men, he knew wlien to 
abandon the policy of coercion for one of conciliation 
and kindness. His counsel and generous assistance 
put the wearisome struggle with the Indians on a 
wholly fresh basis. Arms, ammunition, and other 
necessities for the troops were despatched at once 
from England ; three thousand recruits, raised in 
Pennsylvania, promptly joined the expedition against 
Fort Du Quesne ; and the Quaker Assembly voted 
another hundred thousand pounds to meet the emer- 
gencies of this final struggle. A bounty of five 
pounds was also offered for every volunteer, thus 
putting a positive premium upon war ; while at the 
same time, to leave no stone unturned, the Moravian 
missionary, Frederick Post, was sent on an embassy 
of peace to the Shawanese and Delaware Indians, 
who, though alienated from the English, were not 
closely allied with the French. Post was as success- 
ful in his negotiations as were General Forbes and 
Colonel Bouquet in their military manoeuvres. A 
convention was held at Easton, three hundred chiefs 
of various tribes being present. The Proprietors, 
through their agents, restored to the savages a large 
portion of the land taken from them by the Albany 
Treaty ; and the chiefs solemnly declared themselves 
satisfied with the restitution, and despatched at once 
to their young braves the white wampum belt, em- 
blem of peace and good-will. No words can ade- 


quately praise the heroism, the quiet unflinching 
courage which carried an unarmed Moravian with 
two or three devoted followers into the very heart 
of the hostile country, where death lurked day and 
night amid the sombre woods. 

In the meantime, arguments of a different order had 
been brought to bear upon the allied French and 
Indians at Fort Du Quesne, and they were found to 
be so convincing that, after two assaults and one long 
bloody battle, the French troops withdrew from the 
fort, setting fire to it before their departure, and 
carrying safely away their guns and ammunition, 
though beset by an invading army outnumbering them 
ten to one. Their departure restored safety and tran- 
quillity to Pennsylvania. Thousands of farmers re- 
turned to their abandoned homes. Fort Pitt was built 
for their protection on the site of Fort Du Quesne, 
and where the city of Pittsburg now stands, commemo- 
rating the name of the great statesman to whom was 
mainly due the renewed prosperity of the province. 
Forbes, shattered in health, was carried back to Phila- 
delphia, where he died the following spring, and was 
buried in Christ Church. For a few years peace reigned 
in the city of peace, and the Assembly gained a real 
and lasting victory when Franklin, who had exchanged 
military glory for the more congenial field of diplo- 
macy, obtained the consent of the Privy Council to a 
bill authorizing the taxation of the proprietary estates. 




This was the most important service he had rendered 
yet to the commonwealth. It had cost him two long 
years of hard work and weary waiting in England ; 
it had taxed his ingenuity, his resources, his patience 
to the utmost ; but it established his fame as a diplo- 
matist, and was the beginning of his successful public 

In 1763 the treaty of Paris ended the war with 
France. There was a reasonable hope in every heart 
that the evil times were over, and that the old days 
of peace and comfort had returned to the province, 
now more thickly settled, more assiduously cultivated 
than before. But although the French had been 
driven westward, the Indians remained, and the set- 
tlers, having learned nothing from experience, treated 
them more cruelly and contemptuously than before, 
believing that, unaided by European allies, they were 
no longer to be feared, and that they should be 
punished for all the trouble they had dared to give. 
Perhaps it is never wise to provoke a savage foe beyond 
his rather limited powers of endurance. When the 
game seems easiest, then is danger near at hand. The 
story of Pontiac is no part of Philadelphia's history, 
save that his ruthless and terrible wars brought devas- 
tation to the fertile farms and smiling hamlets of 
Pennsylvania; for this Indian Attila, who combined 
the fierceness of the barbarian with the genius of a 
great commander, had organized the scattered tribes 


into a destroying army, infinitely more dangerous 
because ruled by a single mind, bent on the extermina- 
tion of the white man. Fort Pitt, the one defence 
and stronghold of the province, was surrounded and 
patiently besieged by the savages ; but the splendid 
courage of its Swiss commander. Captain Ecuyer, 
nerved his soldiers to resolute resistance, and they 
held out bravely until relieved by Colonel Bouquet 
who, with a mere handful of veterans, went gallantly 
to the rescue of his countryman. He asked help in 
this desperate enterprise from Pennsylvania's frontiers- 
men, from those Scotch-Irish farmers to whose hostile 
attitude was due much of the present trouble ; but 
not one of them consented to accompany him. The 
glorious battle of August 5th, which saved Fort Pitt, 
checked the triumphant advance of the Indians, and 
warded off from many a hearth the torch and the 
scalping knife, was fought by two regiments of English 
soldiers, so enfeebled by service in the West Indies 
that many of them died in the long, cruel marches 
before their goal was reached. 

The danger once lifted, however, the hearts of the 
settlers grew hot with rage, and they formed them- 
selves into companies for the easy extermination of 
scattered and often harmless bands of Indians, whose 
depredations had never gone further than a gypsy-like 
pilfering of hen-roosts. The history of the so-called 
Paxton Boys is one of the dark stains on Pennsylva- 


Ilia's record. It lias been told many times already, 
and each new telling makes it seem more thoroughly 
disgraceful than before. A little band of friendly 
Indians, direct descendants of the savages with whom 
William Penn had made his first successful treaty, 
was settled at Conestoga, near Lancaster. All its 
members had long since been converted to Christianity 
by the kind Moravians, and supported themselves by 
basket- weaving, that time-honoured industry of their 
race. The wrathful colonists of Paxton, inflamed 
by the preaching of the church militant, as embodied 
in the fierce harangues of John Elder, determined to 
pluck out, root and branch, these abominations, hated 
of the Lord. With this pious purpose, fifty-seven of 
them went at daybreak on the fourteenth of December, 
1763, to the Indian village, and found there only 
three men, two women, and a young boy. One hun- 
dred and forty of the tribe had been carried off to 
Philadelphia the day before, and fourteen of them 
were wandering about the country, selling their 
baskets and brooms. Though sorely disappointed 
by the smallness of the catch, the Paxton rangers 
promptly killed the men, the women, and the boy, 
set fire to the village, and retired jubilantly, trusting 
that Providence would soon deliver a more satisfac- 
tory pre}^ into their hands. 

They had not long to wait. The Lancaster sheriff, 
hearing what had been done, and eager to avert 


further bloodshed, collected together the fourteen 
Indians who had escaped the massacre, and lodged 
them for protection in the jail. His action was kindly 
meant, but the jail was old and weak. The Paxton 
Boys knew now where to find their victims. They 
rode in a body to Lancaster, thrust aside their pastor, 
John Elder, who vainly strove to turn them from 
the meditated murder, beat down the jail doors, and 
cut the fourteen Indians, men, women, and children, 
into pieces with their hatchets. And these were the 
settlers who had refused their aid to Bouquet's fever- 
stricken troops, when they were asked to defend their 
own province in open and honourable warfare. 

The deed awoke shame and anger in every honest 
breast. Brave men loathed its cowardice, good men 
its sickening brutality. Franklin laid aside his phil- 
osophic theories concerning savages and the march 
of civilization, and wrote his famous "Narrative," 
telling in simple, straightforward phrases the whole 
horrible story, and sternly reminding the colonists 
that, even in the improbable event of the butchered 
Indians having been on friendly terms with hostile 
tribes, the lawless murder was no less a crime against 
God, against the commonwealth, and against the very 
essence of civilization, which such acts of violence 
inevitably and hopelessly blighted. As for the 
Quakers, who felt themselves in an especial manner 
outraged by the cruel slaughter of their helpless 


dependents, they were aroused to a state of un- 
Quakerlike wrath, which it is both pleasant and whole- 
some to contemplate. Governor Penn issued two 
proclamations, denouncing the murders, and instruct- 
ing the magistrates to arrest the murderers, which, 
of course, they never did. On the contrary, the 
Paxtons found themselves so agreeably free from 
molestation that they grew valorous, and set out 
for Philadelphia, with the openly avowed intention 
of killing the one hundred and forty Moravian 
Indians who had been taken there for safety. 

The Friends prepared to give the invaders a hot 
welcome. They even took up arms with an alacrity 
foreign to their principles, and which left no shadow 
of doubt as to the course they intended to pursue. 
English regulars were summoned to their aid, and 
the city swarmed with defenders. It had been deemed 
prudent to place the frightened Indians out of harm's 
way by sending them to a distance, but neither New 
Jersey nor New York would consent to receive them. 
Apparently there was no such thing as a colonial 
government which did not fear a mob. 

Philadelphia honourably resolved that no power 
on earth should wrest from her these poor hostages 
to fortune. They were lodged in the soldiers' bar- 
racks, freshly fortified with trenches and cannon, 
and we see the ubiquitous Franklin assuming the 
personal charge of their defence. When the Paxton 


rangers, now numbering a thousand or twelve hundred 
men, reached Germantown, they found matters not 
at all to their liking. Here was no question of easy 
butchery, but of stout fighting, if they were to at- 
tempt carrying out their purpose. The prospect 
cooled their ardour, and they announced themselves 
ready to negotiate. Franklin was thereupon sent 
to meet them, and to him they forthwith presented 
a memorial of their grievances, as if they had been 
sinned against, and were innocent of crime. Their 
complaints were many, but first and foremost on the 
list was the discontinuance of the " scalp bounty," by 
which a useful industry had been weakened and well- 
nigh destroyed. It did not profit settlers, they said, 
to kill stray Indians, unless the government would 
encourage them by paying for the scalps. Time was 
when an adroit backwoodsman could make a com- 
fortable living by tracking down savages and their 
squaws ; but the withdrawal of the bounty at the 
close of the French and Indian wars had made this 
species of hunting unsatisfactory and unremunerative. 
They prayed that the matter might be reconsidered, 
and honest labour meet its just reward. 

Having presented their petitions, and having assured 
themselves that martial measures would be ill-advised, 
the rangers disbanded and went home. They had 
offered no injury to Philadelphia, nor to the poor 
fugitives they had sought to slay ; but, on the other 


hand, they had been received with a good deal more 
civility than rioters and law-breakers had any reason 
to expect, and they felt tolerably sure that the Cones- 
toga murders would never be avenged. Nor were 
they. Party feeling ran so high, the hostility be- 
tween rival churches grew so bitter, that from more 
than one pulpit were heard in time condoning words 
anent that cruel slaughter. The Germans, always on 
friendly terms with the Quakers, condemned it strenu- 
ously ; and the ever-widening breach determined the 
Assembly to make the strongest effort in its power to 
bring about the final overthrow of its enemies. The 
King was petitioned to abolish the Proprietorship, 
and to govern Pennsylvania as a royal province. 

It is easy to trace the troubles and provocations 
which led to this extraordinary step. The Quakers 
had always been deeply antagonized by the Scotch-Irish 
settlers, at whose doors they laid the blame of most of 
the Indian disturbances. They abhorred the Presby- 
terian creed, with its marked preference for the Old 
Testament, and its vigorous, unmerciful interpretation 
of Hebrew sentiments and standards. They resented 
the position of the Church party, which, for purely 
political reasons, lent its moral support to the Presby- 
terians ; and they were reduced to a state of chronic 
irritation by the perpetual encroachments of the Eng- 
lish governors upon their ancient privileges. Above 
and beyond all, they were discouraged by the impossi- 



bility of keeping faith with the savages, whose scanty 
rights — even the one poor primitive right of living — 
were ^ now openly ignored. For the Proprietors, 
^ with a callousness that seems in- 
credible in any of their name 
and lineage, had gratified 
the active frontiers- 
men by renew- 
ing the scalp 


bounty, and had suf- / fered liberal rewards to 
be promised for the ' scalps of male and female 
[ndians. "Such," says Mr. Sydney Fisher sadly, "was 
the melancholy end of Penn's Indian policy; a policy 


which for its justice and humanity had at one time 
aroused the admiration of all the philosophers of Europe. 
But now the tribe with which he made the famous 
treaty had dwindled to a miserable remnant, . . . and 
his grandson was offering bounties for women's scalps." 
There was the less excuse for this barbarous iniquity 
in which white men played the role of savages, inas- 
much as Pontiac's wars had been brought to a close 
in 1764 by the successful expeditions of Bradstreet 
and Bouquet. The power of the organized tribes was 
broken, a treaty of peace was signed, and Bouquet, 
returning triumphantly to Pennsylvania, brought back 
with him over two hundred ransomed captives who had 
been carried away from time to time by the Indians. 
It is worthy of note that many of these poor prisoners 
were strangely reluctant to return, and to take up 
anew the bonds of civilization. Men had grown 
wedded to a wandering life, and to the wild pleasures 
of the chase ; children clung piteously to the squaws 
who had adopted them, and were dragged away by 
force amid bitter lamentations ; white women parted 
with tears from their savage husbands, and often, on 
the homeward march, escaped by night from the tents, 
and stole back through the forest paths to their 
deserted wigwams. It was truly discouraging to the 
soldiers who played the gallant part of liberators to 
find their efforts so often ballled by the mysterious 
intricacies of the human heart. 


Bouquet was received with wild enthusiasm in 
Philadelphia, and the Assembly willingly voted fifty 
thousand pounds to pay the expenses of his cam- 
paign. It was the refusal of the Proprietors to give 
their share of this money which precipitated the final 
quarrel between them and the Friends, and which 
brought about the memorable petition for the abolish- 
ment of the proprietary government. 

The converting of Pennsylvania into a royal prov- 
ince had always been looked upon as a remedy — 
though a somewhat dangerous one — for the many 
ills that from time to time had beset colonial life. 
William Penn had himself resolved upon the step in 
the profound discouragement of his later years, and 
only the swift failing of his mental powers prevented 
him from carrying it into execution. The Christ 
Church party had in its day presented a similar peti- 
tion, believing that the crown would readily grant it 
privileges denied by the obstinate Quakers ; and now 
the Quakers were playing in their turn the part of the 
clamorous frogs, and begging for a king to eat them up. 

The measure, however, was not one to be lightly 
carried. If it had sanguine friends, it had also 
mortal foes ; and the fury of the combat may be 
gauged by the number of pamphlets, all couched in 
the most intemperate language, that have come flut- 
tering down to us from these stormy days. " In the 
whole history of the province," says Mr. MacMaster, 


" there had never been in so short a time such a 
number of pamphlets issued"; and we know what that 
must have meant. Franklin took an active share in 
this paper war, and stoutly advocated the petition. 
Joseph Galloway, a brilliant lawyer and an accom- 
plished gentleman, was its most ardent upholder. 
John Dickinson, afterwards made famous by the 
" Farmer's Letters," fought bravely on the other 
side, defending the ancient charter with rugged elo- 
quence, and pointing out to the colonists that it was 
at all times better to endure the ills they had, than 
to fly to others that they knew not of. Though the 
Quakers triumphed, and the popular discontent car- 
ried the petition through the Assembly, yet the feel- 
.ing against it was so strong that neither Franklin 
nor Galloway was returned at the next election. 
Galloway retired for a time to private life, but 
Franklin was naturally appointed to carry the peti- 
tion to the King. This appointment was hotly 
opposed by Dickinson, who detested the philosopher 
with all his heart, and who brought forward a heavy 
array of arguments against the perpetual employment 
of his services. Philadelphia, however, was too well 
accustomed to these services to dream of setting 
them aside. A public mission, great or small, con- 
ducted by anybody but Franklin, would have been so 
serious an innovation that the Assembly could hardly 
have been expected to countenance it. 


So the triumphant diplomat sailed over the sea 
with his precious paper, leaving behind him a final 
pamphlet, by way of Parthian dart ; and on the tenth 
of December, 1764, he reached the city of London. 
Here in due time he presented the petition, — and 
nothing came of it. The English Ministry, then med- 
itating the famous Stamp Act, had apparently no de- 
sire to dispossess the Proprietors. King George III, 
who was determined a few years later to coerce the 
colonists at any cost into obedience, seemed quite 
indifferent to this opportunity of extending his royal 
power. The situation was unusual, and a little 
absurd. On the one hand, a province, upon the 
very eve of rebellion, asserting its absolute confidence 
in the justice of a king, and offering its constitu- 
tional rights as pledges of its credulity. On the 
other hand, a monarch and a ministry prepared to 
force their unwelcome measures at the point of the 
bayonet, but ignoring this easy means of strengthen- 
ing their hands. Franklin himself seems to have well- 
nigh forgotten the petition, in the new excitement of 
opposing the threatened Stamp Act. His prophetic 
eyes saw clearly the manifold evils that would result 
from any form of taxation to which the colonists had 
not yielded their consent. He was a man of peace, for 
all his little toyings with Indian warfare, and he strug- 
gled honestly and impotently to avert the coming 
strife. As well have tried to beat back from the shore 
the broad, resistless roll of the encroaching wave. 





TT is hardly a matter for surprise that Pennsylvania 

should have been more languid than Massachusetts 
or Virginia in asserting her independence ; that Phil- 
adelphia, destined to be the birthplace of the nation, 
should have been slower than restless Boston to defy 
authority, and take up arras against her King. To the 
sane and somewhat sluggish minds of wealthy mer- 
chants and well-paid mechanics, a principle is not 
always worth fighting for, unless its sacrifice involves 
a serious loss of personal comfort or well-being. And 
for nearly a century the Quaker City, though sometimes 
weary of wrangling, had been exceedingly comfortable, 
and had lacked nothing that the colonial heart could 
reasonably ask or desire. The gentlemen who drove 
every evening, after the easy cares of the days, to their 
beautiful country-seats, — to Stenton, to Mount Pleas- 
ant, to Cliveden, or to Bush Hill, — must have found 
life very well worth living. It was the custom of all 
wealthy citizens to build these country-seats, and their 
tranquil beauty did much to foster the spirit of conserv- 
ative content. Belmont Mansion stood looking over 
M 161 



woods and water, boasting the finest avenue of hem- 
locks in the country, a stately, strong old house, full 
of traditions and memories. William Peters, who 
purchased the estate and lived there many years, was 
a strict churchman and an unflinching Tory, detesting 
Quakers and patriots with the impartial sincerity of 

• S8 - 


Praed's delightful " Quince." Not so his son Richard, 
afterwards Judge Peters, who threw in his lot with 
the revolutionists, and kept for us some lively records 
of that stirring time. His unconquerable vivacity left 
him light of heart when others chilled with despair, 
and never for one moment does he appear to have 
doubted the ultimate success of his cause. A genial 



and hospitable host, he made Belmont the gayest house 
of its day. There Washington sought respite from 
anxiety and care ; there La Fayette planted a walnut 
tree, and John Quincy Adams ate one of the best and 
merriest dinners of his life, — a life in which good and 
merry dinners seem to have played a somewhat con- 
spicuous part. Judge Peters enjoyed an enviable 
reputation as a wit, and some of his pleasantries have 
come floating down to us in cold unsympathetic print, 
illustrating, as a captious biographer expresses it, '' the 
great difference between hearing a joke and reading 
one." The Indians, whose councils he occasionally 
attended, and who are not a humorous race, christened 
him the Talking Bird. It is a pity ever to waste wit 
upon Indians. 

There is hardly one of the noble old country-houses 
that girdle Philadelphia which has not its historic 
interest, its close association with names and incidents 
inseparably interwoven with the annals of the province, 
and sometimes with the broader annals of the land. 
To Mount Pleasant, embedded in trees, and famous 
alike for the breadth of its stairs and the depth of its 
capacious fireplaces, Benedict Arnold brought home 
his bride ; the pretty, vivacious, self-willed Peggy 
Shippen, daughter of Edward Shippen, afterwards 
judge of the Supreme Court, and chief justice of 
Pennsylvania. The estate was Arnold's marriage 
settlement upon his wife, and beneath this roof their 


first child was born to them, in the innocent, happy 
years, undimmed by trouble, untainted by the shadow 
of approaching shame. 

Cliveden, the home of Chief Justice Chew, and 
better known to Philadelphians as Chew House, has 
a different history, for here occurred that memorable 
struggle by which victory was snatched from the very 
arms of defeat. The barricading of Chew House by 
Colonel Musgrave with six companies of the Fortieth 
Regiment, the fruitless assault by the American forces, 
the delay and danger thus occasioned, and the final 
routing of our soldiers from the hotly contested field, 
are well-known details of the battle of German town ; 
as familiar to readers of American history as is the 
death of that gallant English officer, Brigadier-General 
Agnew, in the old Wister homestead, where the blood 
from his many wounds stained deeply red the smooth 
and polished floor. Agnew had fought bravely for 
the colonies in the French and Indian wars, and the 
inexorable voice of duty had sent him back to fight 
against them, when they threw off their allegiance 
to the King. His last act was an effort to save a 
German servant-maid from danger. Two hours later 
he was carried back to her master's roof, a dying man, 
yet so tranquil and content that, in the simple words 
of his aide-de-camp, it was " with seeming satisfaction " 
he passed quietly away from strife. He was buried in 
the Germantown graveyard, finding rest in the alien 



land to which he had been both friend and foe ; and 
years afterwards his grandchildren came over the sea 
to visit the place where he lay. 

More peaceful associations cling around other historic 
homes: Bush Hill, the country-seat of the Hamiltons 



before Woodlands was built ; Walnut Crrove, the most 
demure of houses, erected by Joseph Wharton, the most 
sedate of Quakers, yet destined to be the scene of the 
gayest, maddest, richest, courtliest frolic that Philadel- 
phia has ever witnessed ; and Fairhill, the home of Isaac 
Norris, and afterwards of that contentious, letter-writing 
patriot, John Dickinson. The gardens of Fairhill, 


grave English gardens with gravelled walks and well- 
clipped hedges, were esteemed the fairest in the prov- 
ince ; and Francis Pastorius, who dearly loved their 
orderly charms, was wont to pronounce them the fairest 
in the world. Here grew strange exotics brought from 
distant lands, and here were found the first willow trees 
that ever drooped over Pennsylvania's soil. Isaac Norris 
owed these trees to the keen observation of Franklin, 
who noticed the sprouting of a willow wand, woven into 
a rough basket which lay on the deck of a boat moored 
in the Delaware. He carried the brave little sprout to 
Debby Norris, who planted it with care, and it became 
in time the parent of a numerous progeny, much ad- 
mired because so little known. 

Fairhill was destroyed during the Revolution. Its 
beauties are now only a tradition of the past, as are also 
the beauties of another famous country-seat, Lansdowne 
Mansion, built by John Penn, grandson of the Founder, 
in the romantic glen which bears its name. After Penn 
returned to England, Lansdowne was purchased by 
William Bingham who had amassed what, for those 
primitive days, seemed a colossal fortune, in the West 
Indies, and who made this lovely spot for many years 
his summer home. He married Ann Willing, the six- 
teen-year-old daughter of that able judge and very 
moderate Whig, Thomas Willing ; and the letters and 
diaries of the day teem with descriptions of the young 
bride's beauty, her distinction of manner, her luxurious 


surroundings and wonderful gowns. Even in Paris 
these gowns won ample recognition, and so deeply 
impressed Miss Adams, daughter of John Adams, 
then busy with negotiations in France, that she filled 
up her journal with ardent accounts of their splen- 

We know from other equally enthusiastic contempo- 
raries how handsomely Lansdowne and Mr. Bingham's 
town house were furnished, how the sofas were covered 
with Gobelin tapestry, and the folding-doors were inlaid 
with mirrors, into which awkward or absent-minded 
guests walked blunderingly. We are even familiar with 
the chairs, upholstered in crimson and yellow brocade, 
their rosewood backs shaped like lyres ; and we are 
informed by Mr. Wansey, an English traveller who en- 
joyed much Philadelphia hospitality, that the drawing- 
room " was papered in the French taste, after the style 
of the Vatican at Rome," a suggestive but enigmatic 
statement which leaves us sunk in the depths of specu- 
lation. From all this magnificence the gay and graceful 
hostess was summoned too soon by the unkindly fates, 
and her husband, detesting the empty splendour of his 
home, abandoned it forever, and lived in Europe until 
his death. Joseph Bonaparte occupied Lansdowne 
House for several years, adding to the interest with 
which the fine old place was always regarded, until it 
was burned to the ground on the fourth of July, 1854, 
sacrificed, like so many other homes, and like so many 


lives, to our peculiar methods of celebrating our great 
national anniversary. 

- In sharp contrast to the stately country-seats which 
were the especial delight of wealthy and aristocratic 
Philadelphians, stood and still stands the old stone house, 
simple and beautiful, of John Bartram the botanist, whose 
famous gardens sloped down to the river's brink, and 
were the wonder and admiration of his day. Bartram's 
history is as interesting as that of Gilbert White of 
Selborne. Where the Englishman turned his keen and 
thoughtful eyes upon bird and beast, the American fixed 
his upon every green leaf that sprang from the fertile 
soil. Both men laboured quietly within their narrow 
bounds, both thought much of their work and little of 
the public, and both added generous shares to the use- 
ful knowledge of the world. 

It was while ploughing his field that a little white 
daisy forced the current of Bartram's thoughts into a 
studious channel. The flower made its innocent appeal 
to him as to the pitying, passionate eyes of Burns, but 
the Quaker ploughman was no poet. He could only 
regret that his rude labour destroyed so many nurslings 
of the earth, and resolve to foster them in the future as 
far as lay in his power, and to learn what he could of 
their structure and existence. This was a harder mat- 
ter than the Scotchman's inspired song. Bartram bought 
a Latin grammar, and to the profound annoyance of his 
wife, who, like all good helpmates, was steadfastly op- 



posed to her husband's inexplicable crotchets, he studied 
earnestly until, with the help of a neighbouring school- 
master, he had acquired a sufficient knowledge of the 
language to enable him to read and understand several 
works of Linngeus. From that time forward, the joy 
of a beloved pursuit filled his life with sober happi- 
ness, and he illustrated, as did Gilbert White, how much 
can be accomplished by the close observation of a single 
student, working year after year within a limited com- 
pass. Watson, a very doubtful authority, asserts that, 
prior to the Revolution, Bartram enjoyed a small pension 
as botanist to the royal family. This, if true, was a 
pleasing token of appreciation on the royal family's 
part; but it does not appear that the Quaker farmer 
ever lacked sufficient means for his modest wants. He 
built in 1731 his quaint stone house, with his name and 
his wife's name cut into the wall ; and forty years later 
he chiselled this couplet over the window of his study 
where all who passed might see it : — 

" 'Tis God alone, almighty Lord, 
The holy One by me adored." 

John Bartram, 1770. 

In this house, "small but decent," as St. John de- 
scribes it, he lived a life of almost patriarchal simplicity. 
His family, his visitors, his hired servants and negro 
slaves all sat at the same board, his slaves below the 
salt, as the Saxon thralls of old. Yet his armorial bear- 
ings hung blazoned on the wall, for this Pennsylvania 


Quaker boasted a descent from one of the Norman 
knights who had stormed England under the Con- 
queror's banner, and he was most inconsistently proud 
of his strain of noble blood, which perhaps, indeed, fur- 
nished the keynote of his character, and accounted for 
the very simplicity of a household resembling in some 
respects the ancient chateau in Languedoc, where Eu- 
genie de Guerin toiled in the great kitchen, directing 
and assisting the peasant servants in their homely work. 
Perhaps, too, this Norman lineage rendered John Bar- 
tram, gentle and peace-loving though he seemed, a little 
impatient of spiritual control; for we find him accused 
of Unitarianism by the Society of Friends, and exceed- 
ingly indifferent to its strictures. In 1741 a subscrip- 
tion was raised to enable him to travel through the 
neighbouring colonies in search of flowers and plants ; 
and, as his knowledge widened, he wandered still fur- 
ther afield, — to Virginia, to Carolina, to Canada, and 
even, when nearly seventy years of age, to Florida, 
where he navigated the St. Juan in a clumsy boat with 
three oars and a sail, exploring those marshy and unfre- 
quented shores, upon which, as his old chronicler de- 
lightfully expresses it, " the wild birds are held in awe 
by the thunder of the devouring alligator." 

Of John Bartram's twelve children, only one, William 
Bartram, inherited his father's tastes and studious hab- 
its, with an additional aptitude for writing verses, which 
local critics, after the time-honoured custom of their 



race, compared favourably to the poetry of Burns. 
William died childless, and the property passed into 
the hands of his grand-niece, Ann, whose husband 
sold it after her death to Andrew Eastwick. Mr. East- 
wick erected a more commodious residence on the 
estate ; but the old Bartram homestead has been pre- 



served with great care, as well for its beauty as for 
its interesting associations. Strength, simplicity, an in- 
stinctive and unfailing sense of appropriateness, — these 
are the characteristics which, when seen in a house, 
indicate some corresponding qualities on the part of the 
man who built it, and these are precisely the charac- 
teristics that took flight for many a year from the fan- 
tastic and paltry architecture of the land. 


Into this peaceful province, so rich, so comfortable, 
so thoroughly satisfied, came rolling in 1765 the apple 
of discord in the shape of an obnoxious, unconstitu- 
tional Stamp Act, and the voice of the coming Revolu- 
tion bade men arise from their pleasant hearths, and do 
battle for their civic rights. They were not quick to 
obey, though the call sank deeply into their hearts. 
Principle, not prosperity, was at stake, and the 
shadow of strife cast a disagreeable and ominous 
chill over the first buoyant enthusiasm for resistance. 
Moreover, there were, many reasons moving many minds 
through different channels into the same sluggish course. 
The Episcopalians entertained honest sentiments of loy- 
alty, as well they might, towards the crown, and towards 
the English establishment which had so often befriended 
them in their need ; and they knew that only by help 
of the mother country, and the mother church, could 
they maintain their political importance. The Ger- 
mans were just as honest in their way, being absolutely 
indifferent to the situation, and absolutely untouched 
by the restless and fast-growing spirit of discontent. 
The Quakers, though their entire history had been one 
of determined opposition to attempted encroachments 
upon the constitutional privileges of the colony, were 
far from desiring any radical change of government; 
and they mistrusted profoundly the movement for 
independence which threatened the complete overthrow 
of their present power and of their past work, of 



that fair structure upon which they had toiled patiently 
and lovingly for nearly a century of progress. 

It would be difficult to overrate the influence of the 
Quakers in Philadelphia immediately before the Revo- 
lution, an influence which melted wholly away during 
those years of warfare, carrying with it much sanity 
and moderation that could ill be spared. They held a 
large part of the city's commerce in their capable hands, 
and the fortunes they acquired were spent with liber- 
ality and discretion. If they did not give their wives 
and daughters Paris gowns, nor cover their sofas with 
Gobelin tapestry, nor scandalize the town by aspiring, 
like Mrs. Bingham and her friends, to private boxes at 
the theatre, yet life held for them many demure and 
sober gayeties. John Adams, who has left us such 
epicurean descriptions of Philadelphia dinners and 
suppers that a feeble digestion is wrecked by even 
reading a list of the things he ate, or tried to eat, 
acknowledges that it was often under Quaker roofs he 
encountered these "sinful feasts." It was a Quaker 
hostess who pressed upon him at a single meal, "ducks, 
ham, chickens, beef, pig, tarts, creams, custards, jellies, 
fools, trifles, floating islands, beer, porter, punch, and 
wine." It was, he confesses, at the solicitation of a 
Quaker host that he "drank Madeira at a great rate, 
and found no inconvenience," — for which the incredu- 
lous reader can only take his word. 

In the interesting journal of Elizabeth Drinker, 


begun in 1759, and continued with occasional inter- 
ruptions for nearly fifty years, we find, before the 
peaceful days are over, a perpetual record of tea- 
drinking and other gentle dissipations. Such items as 
" Drank tea at Joseph Trotter's," or " Peggy Parr with 
her sister-in-law, Nancy, and Polly drank tea with us," 
appear on every page ; and it is plain this sedate young 
Quakeress has a lingering love for diversion. She 
flatly declines hearing an instructive lecture on elec- 
tricity, which is greatly to her credit ; but she pays 
two shillings to see a lioness which a wandering show- 
man is carrying through the town. She "spends the 
day" — that old-time entertainment — at the houses 
of youthful friends ; and she writes with inexpressible 
demureness that Henry Drinker, her future husband, 
has stayed until eleven o'clock at night, — " unseason- 
able hours," as she admits, adding softly, "My judg- 
ment doesn't coincide with my actions ; 'tis a pity, but 
I hope to mend." Strictly conservative, and innocently 
loyal, she records with sadness, December 26, 1760, 
" the Death of our good old King, George the Second," 
— the news being then two months old ; and this 
contentment with the ruling powers, and with the 
placid tranquillity of the province, illustrates very ac- 
curately the attitude of the Quakers before the great 
division in their ranks. They, at least, had few com- 
plaints to offer. A wealthy and prominent Friend, 
meeting one of the " Apostates " or Free Quakers, 


bravely girt with a sword, said to him, *' Why, what is 
this with which thou hast bedecked thyself? Surely 
not a rapier I " '* Yes," was the staunch reply, " for 
liberty or death is now the watchword of every one 
who means to defend himself and his property." 
" Ah ! " sighed the serene old Friend, " I had not 
expected such high feelings in thee. Thy mind has 
become as fierce as thy sword. As to property, I 
thought thee had none, and as to thy liberty, I thought 
thee already enjoyed it through the kindness of th}^ 
creditors." A purely commercial view, one may ob- 
serve, to take of the situation. 

It is well for us that the leisure of those days gave 
people time to keep journals, for it is to such records 
we must turn if we wish to understand the ordinary 
life and common sentiments of men and women who 
do not appear on the canvas of history, but who reflect 
with unconscious sincerity the public temper which 
made public action possible. The diaries of Elizabeth 
Drinker and Christopher Marshall, the memoirs of 
Dr. Graydon and Thomas Twining, give us, not only 
a number of interesting facts, but also the atmosphere 
of the last century which eludes all modern histories, 
and leaves them unsympathetic and judicial. We 
learn from Dr. Graydon that the lettei-s of Junius 
awakened such a thrill of excitement in quiet Phila- 
delphia that it became " highly fashionable " — delight- 
ful phrase — to discuss them on all occasions; and 


that the Rev. Mr. Duch^ published a series of papers 
on the subject, signing himself '^Tamoc Caspipina," 
an acrostic — wholly impenetrable — upon his rightful 
title, " The Assistant Minister of Christ's Church and 
Saint Peter's, in Philadelphia, in North America." 

As for Tom Paine and his seething sentences, we 
know from many sources what influence he acquired ; 
how " Common Sense " was eagerly read by the colo- 
nists, and how the " Rights of Man " was quoted on 
every side during those unsettled, turbulent years 
which followed the Revolution. Dr. Graydon tells us 
that ardent patriots were wont to denounce Burke's 
" Reflections on the French Revolution " as " heavy 
and tedious," fit only to serve as a foil for the shining 
qualities of Paine. He himself, however, though sin- 
cerely patriotic and an officer of the Revolutionary 
army, was disinclined to accept this verdict. Having 
nourished his youth upon English classics, Fielding, 
Smollett and Richardson, he naturally found the "Revo- 
lution " less tedious than the " Rights " ; and our 
sudden fierce enthusiasm for France, the tri-colour, 
and the guillotine, struck him as a little absurd and 
very dangerous. We had travelled far afield by 1791 ; 
but in 1765 even " Common Sense " had not yet 
dawned luridly upon bur peaceful path. The prov- 
ince, though sufiiciently ill-disposed towards uncon- 
stitutional taxation, was at heart loyal to the English 
crown ; and Franklin, even while upholding his coun- 


try's cause, could find no words too forcible in which 
to give this loyalty expression. He was wont to say 
that the colonists loved England better than they loved 
each other. The time was fast approaching when the 
first of these laudable affections died a natural death, 
and the second ceased to be so apparent as to justify 
its use when a strong comparison or illustration was 




^T^HE Stamp Act was passed in March, 1765, not- 
withstanding the strenuous opposition of Franklin 
and the American agents in London, who, however, 
were not authorized by the colonies to give their con- 
sent to any other proposed measure for the raising of 
money. Its immediate result in Philadelphia was a sud- 
den decrease of extravagance, a sudden passion for fru- 
gality, which would have delighted " Poor Richard's " 
heart, had he been there to witness it. The merchants 
and traders bound themselves to import no goods from 
England until the Act had been repealed ; they would 
not even suffer the "pestilential cargoes," as John 




Dickinson called them, to be unloaded at the docks, 
and self-denying citizens resolved to wear no English 
cloths, to eat no English mutton, to drink no English 
beer, while the law remained in force. They stinted 
themselves even in the matter of funerals, and one 
patriotic alderman who died in these troubled days left 
directions that he should be buried without a pall, and 
that his family should wear no crape nor other mourn- 
ing for him. To John Hughes, a member of the As- 
sembly and a keen partisan of Franklin's, was given 
the sale of the hated stamps; not a pleasant duty, as 
it chanced, for the mob, having hanged him in effigy, 
gathered around his house with muffled drums, and 
tried vainly to force him into yielding up the appoint- 
ment. He was even expelled from his fire company — 
a sad affront, and equivalent to being expelled from a 
club — on account of his contumacy and lack of public 

The repeal of the Stamp Act, in March, 1766, 
changed all this bitter discontent into general glad- 
ness. The colonists believed that they had won their 
battle, and the brig, Minerva^ which brought the 
happy news to Philadelphia, was welcomed with uni- 
versal rejoicings. Bonfires blazed all night long, 
bowls of punch were emptied under opulent roofs, 
kegs of beer were rolled into the streets to intoxicate 
the poor. Every sailor in the crew received a hand- 
some cadeau, and to the captain was presented a fine 


gold-laced cocked hat. The mayor and aldermen 
celebrated the occasion with a great civic banquet, at 
which the King's health was drunk with extravagant 
demonstrations of loyalty ; and we know that these 
sentiments had by no means abated when June 
brought round the royal birthday, and Jacob Hiltz- 
heimer went forth with nearly four hundred citizens 
to dine on the banks of the Schuylkill, and empty a 
score of glasses in honour of good King George. 

It is a pity that this general satisfaction should 
have been so exceedingly short-lived. In the follow- 
ing year another colonial tax-bill, placing duties on 
paper, glass, paints, lead and tea, renewed the con- 
sternation of the province ; and John Dickinson fanned 
the flame of popular resentment into an angry blaze 
with his timely "Letters of a Farmer of Pennsylvania 
to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies." Once 
more Philadelphia prepared to offer a passive resist- 
ance to the obnoxious law by steeling her heart 
against imported luxuries, taxed or untaxed, with the 
result that patriotism on the one hand, and self-indul- 
gence on the other, waged a steady conflict for mas- 
tery. A weak-minded citizen, overcome by the 
pleadings of his appetite, ventured to surreptitiously 
purchase some English cheese from the mate of the 
Speedwell; but his dastardly deed was discovered 
before he had time to eat the coveted delicacy, and 
he was compelled to give it, untasted, to the poor 


debtors in prison. There was more difficulty experi- 
enced in persuading women to do without their tea. 
Notwithstanding its ruinous cost and painful unpopu- 
larity, it was never wholly banished. Shopmen es- 
caped detection by selling it in sealed packages, under 
the name of tobacco, snuff, or any other innocuous 
merchandise, — just as whiskey is sold in prohibition 
towns ; and fair recalcitrants kept it discreetly hidden 
in hot water pots, while the empty coffee urns were 
placed conspicuously in posts of honour, to give their 
lyiiig evidence to visitors who were not in the secret. 

Smuggling grew so common in these days that it 
wore an air of persecuted honesty; smuggler were as 
highly esteemed in virtuous Pennsylvania as in law- 
less Spain ; and prying citizens who gave evidence 
against this illicit trade were promptly tarred and 
feathered by the mob, to teach them the inadvisa- 
bility of interference. There was a confused impres- 
sion in the minds of the angry, illogical colonists that 
smugglers were patriots; and abstract patriotism had 
gained so much favour under the stress of general 
discontent, that sober Philadelphians celebrated with 
a grand banquet the birthday, of the Coi*sican, Pascal 
Paoli, and uttered fervid sentiments that would not 
have shamed a Jacobin club in Paris. 

The autumn of 1773 brought a new complication 
into this uneasy turmoil. An Act of Parliament per- 
mitted the East India Company to carry its tea to 


America free of all duty, save the trifling three-penny 
colonial tax. This gave the colonists cheaper tea than 
England had ever enjoyed, and the temptation was 
well-nigh irresistible after long months of enforced 
abstemiousness. It was all very well for ardent and 
acrimonious Whigs, like Christopher Marshall, to com- 
pel their families to drink that vile domestic beverage 
known as "balm tea"; but the hearts of women had 
grown rebellious as the weary weeks went on, and 
there was every danger that this wily measure on the 
part of England would break down at last the stubborn 
opposition of the colonies. The committee of mer- 
chants determined that no choice between principle 
and comfort should be permitted; that the weaker 
portion of the community should have no chance 
given them to succumb. When the tea ship, Polly^ 
reached Gloucester Point, her captain was invited, or 
rather bidden to come ashore, and told as briefly as 
possible that he would not be allowed to land his 
cargo, and that any attempt to do so would place him 
in great personal danger. He acquiesced philosophi- 
cally in a situation which could not be remedied, 
tarried but a few hours to lay in fresh supplies, and 
set sail with the outgoing tide for his long homeward 
voyage. The whole important matter, notwithstand- 
ing the usual array of half-mad pamphlets, and the 
riotous demonstrations of the mob,, had been conducted 
with moderation and dignity. It was not nearly such 


good fun as pitching the tea-chests into Boston har- 
bour, and it does not make a lively historic anecdote 
for schoolboys to read ; but it has the advantage 
of greater honesty, of self-respecting decorum, and 
of being a daylight performance, in which all the 
actors gave their names to the public before they 
played their parts. 

In May, 1774, Boston port was closed, and Paul 
Revere brought the news to Philadelphia, where 
it was received with astonishment and indignation. 
Christopher Marshall tells us that nearly every shop 
was shut on the first of June, when Revere's message 
was given to the people, that the flags were lowered 
to half-mast, and the churches being opened as though 
it were Sunday, huge congregations attended, and 
listened grimly to appropriate sermons. There was 
no service, indeed, at Christ Church, but her bells rang 
a muffled peal all day long, as was their wont in time 
of public calamity. "Sorrow and anger," says the 
sympathetic Marshall, "seemed pictured in the coun- 
tenances of the inhabitants, and the whole city wore 
the aspect of deep distress, it being a most melancholy 

Revere's letters were addressed to Joseph Reed, and 
to that fighting Quaker, Thomas Mifflin. Through 
the influence of these citizens, a meeting was called in 
the City Tavern, at which Dickinson and Charles 
Thomson spoke with great eloquence and fervour ; 


and Boston was assured of sym23athy and support in 
a letter written by Provost Smith, but which the 
friends of Dickinson always stoutly declared to have 
been his composition. A more important gathering 
met in the State House on June 28th. Thomas 
Willing and Dickinson presided, much oratory was 
let loose, and some definite measures decided upon. 
The governor was asked to call together the Assembly, 
a committee of correspondence was appointed, and — 
most momentous step of all — a resolution was passed, 
recommending a congress of all the colonies, which 
should assist the Assembly — and override it — in deal- 
ing with the grave emergencies of the time. 

The Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia 
in the autumn of 1774, and held its sessions in Car- 
penters' Hall, a fine, simple old building which had 
been erected a few years before by tlie guild of car- 
penters and house masons. Eleven only of the thir- 
teen provinces sent delegates, but these were men 
capable of overriding any Assembly, and of forcing 
their own measures upon a hesitating country. Among 
them were John and Samuel Adams, Richard Henry 
Lee, George Washington, and Patrick Henry, whose 
glowing periods won him scant favour in a town 
which had not yet wholly relinquished its ancient 
gift of silence. Peyton Randolph of Virginia was 
elected president, and Charles Thomson — he who 
knew so much and divulged so little of his country's 



history — was chosen to be the secretary. The Rev. 
Jacob Duchd — '^ Tamoc Caspipiiia " — was invited to 
act as chaphiin, to his unquali- | fied delight. "He 
appeared," says John Adams, f " with his clerk, and 
in his pontificals," and offered A eloquent prayers. 


which were much admired and quoted until such time 
as he abandoned the cause of liberty and became a 
devout Tory, when the angry Whigs ceased praising 
his orisons, and promptly confiscated his estate. 

For six weeks the Congress deliberated on the 
manifold difficulties of the situation, cheered mean- 


while by much Philadelphia hospitality. Adams 
was not the only delegate who ate and drank himself 
into permanent indigestion amid the seductions of 
a society, "happy, elegant, tranquil, and polite." A 
grand banquet was given by prominent citizens to the 
city's guests, when their first work was done. Five 
hundred covers were laid in the great State House 
chamber, and innumerable healths were drunk, the 
first and foremost toast being still King George III., 
for the colonists had by no means given up hoping 
for a peaceful adjustment of their troubles. The 
resolutions adopted by the Congress were moderate 
in tone, but expressed steadfast resistance to any form 
of taxation imposed by the English government while 
the provinces remained unrepresented in Parliament, 
and a steadfast rejection of all imports upon which 
such unconstitutional taxes were levied. The As- 
sembly professed great satisfaction with most of the 
measures proposed, especially with those which sought 
to encourage domestic manufactures ; and Franklin, 
returning to Philadelphia in May, 1775, was imme- 
diately appointed a delegate, that he might add his 
share of sagacity and experience to the counsels of 
men so heavily burdened with responsibility, so new 
to the perils of their parts. 

And, indeed, the country had sore need of all the 
wisdom she could muster, in a situation of which no 
man could reasonably foresee the end. It was a time 


pregnant with hopes unspoken, and with fears un- 
checked ; a time of deep disquiet, with darkening 
skies, and universal discontent. Strange omens — like 
to those which presaged the coming of the great 
Plague — were witnessed by the apprehensive ; and 
Marshall notes in his diary, without a tremour of dis- 
belief, that a headless snake was seen by many, writh- 
ing in the heavens. When this snake shook its tail, 
there came a trembling vibration like an earthquake 
shock, and balls of fire descended from the skies upon 
the doomed houses of men. Past were the old easy 
days when life held few perplexities, and when the 
standing quarrel between Quaker and churchman. 
Assembly and governor, carried with it no deadly 
frustration of power or purpose. Now any division 
in the ranks meant certain peril, and possible ruin. 
How far could the Quakers be cajoled or bullied into 
open rebellion against England? How far could they 
be persuaded to advance in a movement which threat- 
ened destruction to the laws they had made, and which 
had been their pride and glory for a hundred years ? 
A most inconvenient people to deal with, these 
Quakers, for all their mildness and general sanity ; a 
people whose religious scruples were as binding as 
moral laws, and in w^hom "the noble firmness of the 
mule " was backed by a reasonably clear conception 
of their own interests, and of the material interests of 
the commonwealth. Equally averse to barracks and 


to law-courts, they refused to support the one by- 
paying military taxes, or to assist the other by acting 
as jurors, witnesses, or clients ; and it must be con- 
fessed that, left to themselves, they had apparently 
no need for either of these- ornaments of civilization. 
They kept their peace with the Indians, unaided by 
the convincing voice of firearms, and they settled 
their own disputes, without assistance from advocate 
or judge. The " Committee of Monthly Meetings," 
aided and abetted by the still more awe-inspiring 
Quarterly and Yearly Meetings, held them in thrall, 
and gave them all they wanted in the way of laws 
and penalties. 

It was natural that a people so. wedded to peace, 
so content with their own rules of life, and so mis- 
trustful of change, should have been hard to influence 
in a great public crisis, of which nothing but the in- 
security could be wholly understood. "The leading 
members of the Society," says Mr. Charles Wetherill 
in his history of the Free Quakers, "were men who 
had grown old in the habit of loyalty to the crown, 
and had been rewarded by dignities and wealth." 
The somewhat clamorous eloquence of the patriots 
moved them less than the rippling of the wind; the 
fast-growing authority of the mob filled them with 
serious apprehensions. At the Yearly Meeting held 
in Philadelphia, 1774, a solemn letter of warning 
was prepared and sent to all the Friends in the colonies. 


bidding them to beware of sedition and strife, and 
to assume no part in the defiant rebellion against 
their King. This letter was generally respected and 
obeyed, for it needed a moment of supreme urgency 
to awaken in the hearts of all men the common in- 
stinct of self -protection, and to startle even the young 
Quakers into war. 

Yet the determination of the Society to hold itself 
aloof from any hostile demonstrations veiled an equally 
obstinate determination to yield no civic rights, no 
long-contested privileges. The delegates to the Con- 
tinental Congress knew little of the Quaker tempera- 
ment, or of the Quaker history, else they would have 
been aware that what was needed to push these strong 
conservatives into opposition was, not enthusiastic 
speech-making on their part, but continued injustice 
on the part of England. It was hard, however, to 
wait for such slow conversion in a time of profound 
impatience and restless fear. It was hard to refrain 
from attacking and alienating a people whose attitude 
of reserve was more trying than open disaffection. 
Men had grown suspicious of one another in these 
weeks of anxious waiting for — they knew not what. 
At last, on the twenty-fourth of April, 1775, there 
came an answer to many an unspoken question. It 
was brought by a weary and travel-stained rider who 
alighted at the City Tavern, and asked to see some 
members of the Committee of Correspondence. The 


news he carried was strange indeed, yet no man was 
surprised by it. Rather it seemed as though all had 
been waiting for this hour, and for the word it bore. 
The English soldiers and the New England militia 
had fired on one another at Lexington. The first blood 
had been shed in the great struggle for independence. 
The Revolution had begun. 




^T^HE history of Philadelphia for the next six 
years is, in reality, the history of the country. 
It is impossible to divorce her records from the 
broader annals of the united colonies, who looked 
to her as to the central stage on which was played 
the great drama of rebellion. If she still hesitated, 
it was, not at action, but at calling that action by 
its proper name. She flew to arms, but seldom spoke 
of battle; she prepared decisively for war, but hardly 
confessed that England was her antagonist. When 
tlie encounter at Lexington was made known to the 
public, an angry and excited crowd of eight thousand 
men assembled before the State House, declared their 
intention of defending their rights and liberties, and 
advocated the immediate enrolling of new bodies of 



militia. We learn from many sources with what 
ardour young and old offered their services in the 
first flush of enthusiasm, and how they drilled day 
and night to be prepared for an imperative emergency. 
Dr. Graydon who belonged to the third battalion, 
commanded by John Cadwalader, and sarcastically 
called the " Silk Stocking Company," in reference 
to supposed fine feathers and good birth, tells us that 
he and his companions practised shooting at a target 
on Race Street, and that one of the party shot a child, 
which was discouraging, but hardly a matter for sur- 

Congress reassembled on the eleventh of May, 
and a Committee of Safety was appointed, with 
Franklin at its head, to look after the needs and 
the defences of the city. This committee determined 
to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, by following one of 
its great leader's maxims, and met every morning 
at the bracing hour of six. The members found 
plenty to do in preparing for war, and in trying to 
preserve order, for already the disturbed condition 
of the public mind had broken the barriers of secur- 
ity. The mob grew bolder and bolder, until at 
last, in pla3^ful mood, it openly set fire to the jail, 
as the easiest way of liberating two counterfeiters 
who were confined within its walls. What wonder 
that a sober citizen like James Allen, son of Chief 
Justice Allen, should, even while ready to shoulder 

WAR 193 

a musket in the " great and glorious cause,'* have 
confided most despondent sentiments to the secrecy 
of his diary. "The madness of the multitude," he 
writes, "is but one degree better than submission to 
the Tea Act. . . . Many thinking people believe 
America has seen its best days, and even if we be 
victorious, peace and order will with difficulty be 
restored. The inconveniences are already sensibly 
felt. Debts as yet are paid, but this cannot last long, 
for people begin to plead their inability." 

The manufacture of gunpowder, and the building 
of gunboats to defend the river's front, occupied 
much of the committee's attention; but it found 
leisure to inquire very curiously into the goings and 
comings of men who were suspected of Tory pro- 
clivities. It was a time of active interference with 
other people's affairs, and Joseph Galloway protested 
that he could not retire for a night to his country- 
house without explaining publicly why he did not 
sleep in town. A favourite diversion of the mob was 
the dragging of Tory citizens in carts through the 
streets, to the spirited music of the " Rogue's March," 
until they "politely acknowledged" the erroneous 
nature of their convictions, and uttered more patriotic 
sentiments, to the huge delight of their captors. 
Occasionally the crowds which assembled for this 
sport were cheated out of their triumph. Dr. John 
Kearsley, though so roughly handled that the blood 


streamed from his hurts, merely swore with ever-in- 
creasing vehemence at his tormentors, who were about 
to offer the final argument of tar and feathers when 
their victim — still swearing — was snatched away 
from them by the militia, and carried back to his 
house, where the lively populace had broken all the 
windows. A yet more defiant combatant was Major 
Skene, who, after his third bottle of port, flung open 
the shutters, and roared out with drunken loyalty 
over the heads of the angry rabble, " God save great 
George, our King." 

The Continental Congress, having recommended the 
people to " abstain from vain amusements," was not 
disposed to tolerate anything in the nature of gayety, 
and this resolution checked Philadelphia's generous 
hospitality. With the approach of war, the Assem- 
blies were given up ; but youth is always youth, and 
as eager to dance in dark days as in bright ones. 
The presence of Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Hancock 
in the city during the autumn of 1775 gave excellent 
excuse for a ball, at which these ladies readily prom- 
ised to attend. But it was not to be. That portion 
of the community which never went to balls had for 
once the power to chill unseasonable mirth. A com- 
mittee of citizens waited upon Mrs. Washington, and 
requested her not to grace the festivities, while her 
" worthy and brave husband was exposed in the field 
of battle, in defence of his country's liberties." The 

WAR 195 

lady, with great good nature, acquiesced in her visitors' 
views, assured them that " their sentiments on this 
occasion were perfectly agreeable to her own," and 
promised to remain at home. As a consequence, the 
ball was abandoned, to the unfeigned regret of many 
young girls who, being under no anxiety on the 
score of worthy and brave husbands, would have 
welcomed a little cheerful variety. 

There was some excuse for the arbitrary behaviour 
of the Whigs, inasmuch as they had to deal with so 
many disunited elements. Men who had nothing to 
lose were eager for radical measures. Men who, 
like Mr. Chew, Mr. Tilghman, and Mr. Shippen, 
enjoyed offices of trust and distinction, were more 
prone to consider consequences. Men with easy 
minds, like Mr. John Ross, declared in much the 
same words as the philosophical Vicar of Bray, " Let 
who will be king; I know that I shall still be sub- 
ject." Men as wise and wary as Benjamin Franklin 
calculated every step they took , in such parlous 
times, and permitted their final decisions to remain 
long a matter for conjecture. " Franklin's demeanour 
towards the conflicting parties," says Dr. Gray don, 
" was so truly accommodating, that it was doubtful 
where he really belonged. No man had scanned 
the world more critically than he, and few had 
profited more by a knowledge of it, or managed 
that knowledge more to their own advantage." 



Meanwhile events were hastening forward with a 
ruthless speed that was sadly disconcerting to those 
who had not yet made up their minds what part to 

play. Washington 
was appointed com- 
mander of the na- 
tional forces, and 
joined the army be- 
fore Boston, taking 
with him the first 
American flag, 
w^hich then bore in 
the corner a red 
and blue cross in 
place of the thirteen 
stars. Paul Jones 
hoisted his rattle- 
snake flag — no 
pleasing emblem — 
- ^.^^over one of the new 

The troops drilling 
in Philadelphia demanded from the Assembly money 
for arms, accoutrements, and support. Lead was so 
scarce that all the fine old standing clocks were robbed 
of their weights, and stood mute and helpless in 
their corners. The battle of Bunker Hill added to 
the general agitation ; the departure of the English 

WAR 197 

army from Boston quickened the colonists* hopes. 
'I'om Paine, that " disastrous meteor " as Adams calls 
him, published his " Common Sense," and at once 
became the most popular man in the country. Even 
Dickinson's fame paled before the new light, and 
the " Farmer's Letters " were well-nigh forgotten in 
the rabid enthusiasm which greeted Paine's bolder 
theories. Men were just in the humour to believe 
that governments were antiquated devices, and that 
the voice of the populace was the voice of God. 
Each reader felt his soul expand at this splendid 
recognition of his individual importance, and of his 
right to clamour with the loudest. In every Phila- 
delphia shop* was seen the familiar advertisement, 
" Common Sense for eighteen pence," and thousands 
of purchasers thought the article cheap at that very 
moderate price. Adams, James Allen, and others who 
disagreed violently with Paine's definition of sense 
were not slow in putting their opinions into print. 
Indeed, the approaching election brought down upon 
the anxious public a storm of pamphlets, in which 
political opponents under the names of Cato, Cas- 
sandra, Forrester, etc., enjoyed such a prolonged 
and lively combat that if the voters did not know 
what line of conduct to pursue, it was certainly not 
from lack of cheap and copious instruction. 

For the last time the moderate party triumphed 
in the Assembly, a dearly bought victory destined to 


lead the way to the final overthrow of the constitu- 
tion. Congress, on the tenth of May, 1776, passed a 
resolution recommending to all the colonies a radical 
change of government, that they might be better 
equipped to meet the serious emergencies of the 
war. The Committee of Safety, now grown imperi- 
ous and despotic, held a week's conference in Car- 
penters' Hall, and determined that a convention 
should be called to frame a new constitution. At 
the inevitable dinner with which this conference 
terminated — dinners, unlike balls, were considered 
patriotic amusements — the King's health was not 
drunk, but, in his place, " The free and independent 
States of America " were toasted with loud acclama- 
tions. The petition sent to the crown met with no 
response, as the colonies were in open rebellion long 
before the " dutiful and humble " paper reached 
England ; and it became more and more apparent 
on both sides that the war was, not for terms, but 
for freedom. The old Assembly, which had for 
almost a century watched faithfully over the interest 
of the province committed to its charge, was rapidly 
nearing its end, choked out of existence by the vehe- 
mence of reformers who scorned the wisdom of the 
past, and felt an easy confidence in their power to 
regulate the future. With its destruction, the politi- 
cal power of the Quakers came to an abrupt close. 
They had done their work for many years wisely 

WAR 199 

and well. The tasks which awaited their successors 
were of a different order, and demanded different 
hands. There was both rank ingratitude and rank 
injustice in the treatment the Friends subsequently 
received ; but gratitude has never been a lively fac- 
tor in politics, and men, when sick with apprehen- 
sion or elate with victory, are hardly sane enough 
to know what justice means. 

The Convention of 1776 amply satisfied the public 
appetite for novelties. It was generous and even pro- 
fuse in the matter of new laws, both big and little. 
Nothing was too important to be settled offhand, noth- 
ing too trivial to occupy its attention. Pennsylvania 
was declared an independent state ; delegates were 
sent to Congress; heavy taxes were laid on Germans 
and Quakers who refused to serve in the militia. A 
new constitution was prepared which received Frank- 
lin's enthusiastic support. In place of the single gov- 
ernor with whom Pennsylvania had always quarrelled 
lustily in the past, twelve governors, forming a council, 
were given her as suitable antagonists for the future ; 
and a " General Assembly " was furthermore provided 
to fight fairly and squarely with the twelve. Then, 
lest an ignoble tranquillity should still be possible, 
a second council, called the Council of Censors, was 
appointed, the members of which had the pleasant 
duty of finding fault with both the executive and the 
legislative bodies. Altogether there was abundant 


opportunity for hostilities, and no sooner had the 
new laws gone into ojjeration than hostilities began 
with fervour. The province was sharply divided into 
two irreconcilable parties : those who upheld this con- 
stitution, and those who saw in it certain and disas- 
trous ruin. Philadelphia was the battlefield on which 
the opponents prepared for the coming combat. 

But other and larger issues, weighted with the 
welfare of the whole nation, were pressing hard for 
recognition, and it was no longer possible to ignore 
or to stifle the agitation in favour of independence. 
The Pennsylvania delegates to Congress in the spring 
of 1776 were Franklin, Morris, Willing, Morton, Hum- 
phreys, Wilson and Dickinson ; men of moderate views 
who were keenly anxious that the province should be 
won over wholly to the cause of freedom, before it 
was forced to yield its consent to a measure which 
could never be retracted. It was not in their power, 
however, to restrain the impetuosity of the Virginia 
and Massachusetts delegates, and, on the seventh of 
June, Richard Henry Lee offered his resolutions, ab- 
solving the colonies from their old allegiance, and 
proclaiming them free and independent States. 

The foUowino: weeks were absorbed in strenuous 
debate. Seven of the thirteen colonies were in favour 
of the resolutions; six, with Pennsylvania at their 
head, held firmly back, believing that the time had 
not yet come for open and absolute rebellion. But 

WAR 201 

the fierce enthusiasm of the majority was well cal- 
culated to override the prudent hesitation of the 
minority. Enthusiasm, moreover, is contagious, and 
hesitation is ever an ungrateful part to play. Agents 
were sent by Congress to quicken the spirit of revolt 
in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. 
Every argument was used to persuade the colonists 
that only by the closest union could they hope to 
achieve their freedom, or even to preserve their safety; 
they must hang together, as Richard Penn dryly ob- 
served, unless they wanted to be hanged separately. 
The nine hours' debate of July 1st left four colonies 
still unconvinced. Pennsylvania and South Carolina 
voted against Lee's resolutions, Delaware was hope- 
lessly divided, and New York refused to vote at all, 
her delegates having received no authority from home 
to support the popular measure. 

The final decision was deferred until the next day, 
and a last urgent appeal made to the conservatives 
who still held back from action. It was not without 
avail. By the evening of July 2d, South Carolina 
and Delaware, either converted or overwearied, voted 
for independence. Pennsylvania was still disunited. 
Three of her delegates, Franklin, Wilson and Morton, 
supported the resolutions; Willing and Humphreys, 
consistent to the end, bravely and obstinately opposed 
them ; Morris and Dickinson evaded the necessity for 
a decision by keeping out of the way. Their absence 


enabled the advocates of liberty to carry the Pennsyl- 
vania vote by a handsome majority of one. New 
York, waiting like Casablanca for orders that never 
came, declined with an almost sublime apathy to take 
any part in the proceedings. Twelve of the thirteen 
colonies, however, had now been won over ; and before 
sunset, July 2, 1776, Lee's resolutions were passed 
by an almost unanimous vote. The nation had deter- 
mined to be free. 

Two days later the Declaration of Independence 
was formally adopted, and on July 8th the document 
was read to the people — to the few at least who gath- 
ered to hear it — from the observatory in the State 
House yard. One unseen auditor there was w^ho has 
left us an account of that day. Deborah Norris, then 
a girl of fifteen, had climbed her garden wall to catch 
a glimpse of what was going on. The reader was 
hidden from her by the side of the observatory, but 
she heard distinctly from her high perch every word he 
uttered, and was awed into a childish terror as the 
grave voice — Charles Thomson's voice, she fancied, 
but it was really that of Captain John Nixon — re- 
peated slowly those memorable words, the full signifi- 
cance of which she was too young to understand. "It 
was," she wrote years afterwards, "a time of fearful 
doubt and great anxiety with the people, many of 
whom were appalled by the boldness of the measure ; 
and the first audience of the Declaration was neither 



very numerous, nor composed of the most respectable 
class of citizens." The church bells, however, were 
rung assiduously, and a few bonfires were lit at night, 
that being a form of celebration as popular with the 
boys of 1776 as with their successors to-day. 

The Declaration of Independence was not signed 
until August, and in the meantime the anger of the 


community, now directed against the Pennsylvania 
delegates who had refused it their support, assumed 
more and more ominous proportions. Morris and Wilson 
were indeed reelected to Congress on the twentieth 
of July, and subsequently became signers ; but Wilson 
was not so easily pardoned, and Dickinson, once the 
idol of ever}^ heart, was loaded with recrimination and 
abuse. " Popular enthusiasm is a fire of straw," says 


Mr. Froude; and the crowd who had hailed the "Farm- 
er's Letters " as a veritable message from the gods, 
now found no words of contumely strong enough for 
its author. If he had been unduly elated by success, 
he was at least tolerably resigned to injustice. There 
was still work to do, and he marched with his bat- 
talion straight to the field of war. When the malice 
of his many enemies, striking hard at his honour, left 
him no battalion to lead, he simply shouldered a mus- 
ket and served as a common soldier, determined to 
aid his country, notwithstanding the opposition of his 
countrymen. It may be observed that Dickinson and 
McKean were the only members of the Continental Con- 
gress who ever saw active service, a circumstance which 
posterity has thought it worth while to remember. 

Philadelphia was a proud, but not altogether a com- 
fortable city, after her ancient State House had wit- 
nessed the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 
In the first place the new Constitution was manifestly 
unpopular, which was hardly surprising; and in the 
second place the depreciation of the paper currency had 
begun, and the necessities of life were growing terribly 
dear. Above all, the scarcity of salt was working se- 
rious evil. In the autumn of 1776, fine salt was selling 
at twenty-five shillings a bushel. In December, the 
Rev. Henry Muhlenberg notes in his diary : " The peo- 
ple push and jostle each other wherever there is the 
smallest quantity of salt to be found about town. The 

WAR 206 

country people complain bitterly because they suppose 
there are hidden stores in Philadelphia." 

Meanwhile every effort was made to strengthen the 
defences of the city, and to increase the " flying camp " 
which grew but slowly, although a bounty of three 
pounds was offered for every volunteer, and. a reward 
of three pounds for the arrest of every deserter. Gray- 
don's account of the difficulties he experienced in rais- 
ing recruits is pathetically droll. Men would utter 
sentiments of glowing patriotism, and would drink co- 
piously to their country and their country's cause ; but 
when pressed to enlist, they melted away like snow- 
flakes, leaving him not a single soldier out of a most 
promisingly noisy crowd. It was a season of disasters. 
The colonists' high hopes grew fainter and fainter as 
the weary months brought nothing but tidings of defeat, 
and the lines of war drew ever closer to Philadelphia. 
Sick and wounded troops were brought in great num- 
bers to the city, and the Pennsylvania hospital was set 
apart for their exclusive use. * Camp-fever and small- 
pox raged among these unfortunates, destroying ten 
good men, says John Adams, where the enemy killed 
one. Shallow trenches were dug in Washington Square, 
and two thousand corpses were buried hastily in that 
field of death where, yeai-s before, the Guinea negroes 
had been wont to steal at dusk, or in the early dawn, 
with little offerings of food and rum for their departed 


On the nineteenth of November the news reached 
Philadeli^hia that General Howe had taken Fort Wash- 
ington, and was marching on the city. Graydon, who 
was made a prisoner on this occasion, has left us a lively 
description of the fray, of his own capture, and of the 
kindness of the big Scotch sergeant who said to him, as 
to a froward child, " Young man, ye should never fight 
against your King." Some of the English officers, how- 
ever, spoke to him so rudely, that he confesses he was 
unmanned. " I was obliged to apply my handkerchief to 
my eyes," — an avowal which sounds more like the sensi- 
tive Mr. Pecksniff than an American soldier. He was 
subsequently released on parole through the kindness 
of General Howe, and his fighting days were over. 

By the second of December the British were at Bruns- 
wick, and a general panic ensued in Philadelphia. 
Christopher Marshall's diary describes the lamentable 
confusion : " Families loading wagons with their furni- 
ture, and all ranks sending their goods out of town 
into the country." Even the Congress departed with 
what speed it could to Baltimore, leaving a committee in 
charge of affairs, with the unterrified Morris — who had 
so much to lose — as chairman. Washington appointed 
General Putnam the military governor of the city, and 
this peremptory officer ordered all able-bodied men to 
muster at once for the militia, and all merchants to 
receive the Continental currency at its full value, 
neither of which mandates was obeyed. In fact, the 

WAR 207 

Committee of Safety was so determined that the people 
should accept the paper money for more than it was 
worth, that it was made a criminal offence to ask 
higher prices for merchandise when the depreciated 
notes were offered in payment. This is the kind of 
lawmaking which is happily always rendered inactive 
by its own viciousness, and by the plain common sense 
of the people. It was the last authoritative act of 
the Committee, before its power passed into the hands 
of the Supreme Executive Council, organized March 
4, 1777. 

When General Howe reached Trenton, he issued 
the proclamation which won over many wavering 
Tories, like Galloway and the Aliens, who placed 
themselves under his protection. There is little 
doubt that the general insecurity of the country im- 
pelled them to take this step. James Allen's diary 
is half comical in its mournful, but not unreasonable 
lamentations over the marauding habits of the undis- 
ciplined militia, and the obstinacy of his tenants, who 
plainly intimated that a patriotic landlord would 
never expect them to pay their rents in such a 
troubled time. "The prevailing idea," he writes 
angrily, "is that no man has any right to property 
that the public has use for, and it is seldom they 
even ask the owner." On the other hand, Phila- 
delphia was actively engaged in strewing the Tory 
path with thorns. In July, 1777, forty gentlemen 


were arrested on the charge of disloyalty to the 
Government. Among them were John Penn, Jared 
Ingersoll, Benjamin Chew, and the always unfortunate 
Provost Smith, who was the stanchest of patriots, — 
save that he would fain have delayed the Declaration, 
— and who had exhausted himself in fervid speech- 
making at every stage of the fight. A few of these 
prisoners were committed to jail ; but the greater num- 
ber were banished from the city, confined in their 
own homes, or released on parole, with the certainty 
of being suspected and closely watched in the future. 

On the fourth of July, 1777, Philadelphia celebrated 
for the first time our great national holiday, and set 
the example which has been followed — with modifi- 
cations — for more than a hundred years. There 
was much firing of guns all day, a civic banquet in 
the evening, notwithstanding the dearness of provi- 
sions, and a brisk smashing of Quaker windows at 
night, to keep up the spirits of the mob. Elizabeth 
Drinker, whose husband, Henry Drinker, was one of 
the banished Friends, writes tersely and without com- 
ment in her invaluable diary: — 

"July 4th, 1777. The town illuminated, and a 
great number of windows broken on ye Anniversary 
of Independence and Freedom." 

The new oath of allegiance to the State, which 
was exacted from all citizens under penalty of being 
deprived of every office and every civic right, caused 

WAR 209 

great division in the Quaker ranks. Hitherto the 
Friends had phiyed a purely passive part in the gen- 
eral excitement. They had issued their yearly warn- 
ings against deeds of violence, and open rebellion, 
and they had stayed quietly at home when other 
people fled from the city. It seemed as if, in their 
aversion to war, they regarded even running away 
— that very material part of contest — as opposed to 
their principles. But all this time dissentient voices 
had been heard uttering strange heresies, and insist- 
ing that upon the shoulders of every man lay the 
sacred duty of defending his country from oppres- 
sion. These voices had grown stronger and more in- 
sistent with the rush of events during the past twelve 
months, and the leading spirit of revolt was Samuel 
Wetherill, Junior, a great-grandson of one of the 
first settlers of New Jersey. He had come to Phila- 
delphia as a boy, had been apprenticed to Mordicai 
Yarnall, a wealthy house carpenter, and had in the 
course of time married his master's daughter, after 
the good old fashion approved by Hogarth. He 
helped to found the first factory for weaving cloths 
in the colonies, and was an influential man, deeply 
respected by the Quakers until he severed himself 
abruptly from their ranks. 

For it was not enough for this ardent combatant 
to take the oath of allegiance publicly and gladly at 
the head of a band of resolute young Friends. It 


was not even enough to advocate the bearing o£ 
arms, or to give money generously for the defences 
of the town. He must needs, following the example 
of those about him, rush into print; and, as the 
" Meeting Record " attests, " violate the established 
order of our discipline, by being concerned in pub- 
lishing and distributing a book tending to promote 
dissension and division among Friends." For these 
unpardonable offences he was formally but very gently 
cut off from the Society, with none of the "current 
compliments of theological parting"; but rather with 
regret at his obstinacy, and a pious hope that he 
would one day see his errors, and be restored to 

There was no room for repentance, however, in 
Samuel Wetherill's belligerent soul. He was a 
Quaker war-horse, scenting the battle from afar, and 
eager to rush into the thickest of the fray. Fol- 
lowers he had in plenty, men, who like himself, were 
disowned by the Friends because they advocated forci- 
ble resistance against foreign enemies and oppressive 
laws, and because they declared — of course in print 
— that no man nor woman could justly be excommuni- 
cated from any Christian church, provided he or she 
believed in the word of God. This was the substance 
of Wetherill's famous " Apology for the Religious 
Society, called Free Quakers, in the City of Phila- 
delphia," which made him many converts and many 

WAR 211 

enemies, both of which acquisitions he thoroughly 
enjoyed. " Free Quakers " was the name given to 
themselves by these determined seceders ; but the 
people generally called them by the more stirring 
title of " Fighting Quakers," which was well deserved, 
and the Friends never mentioned them save briefly 
as " Apostates." — " T. Matlock takes upon himself 
to be speaker for ye Apostates," writes Elizabeth 
Drinker, as usual without comment. She possessed 
the unfeminine gift of expressing her sentiments fully 
without help from explanations or expletives. 

For several years after their expulsion from the 
Society, the Free Quakers met for worship in private 
houses, or in one of the college rooms. They con- 
sidered, however, that they had a legal right to occupy 
the old meeting-house, and applied for permission, 
which was naturally but civilly refused. They also 
boldly announced that they meant to use the Friends' 
burial ground, without asking leave, whenever they 
required it. "For however the living may con- 
tend, surely the dead may lie peaceably together." 
This was not so easily accomplished as they fancied. 
The dead, indeed, were peaceable enough, and cared 
little who lay by their sides; but the burial ground 
was under the control of the living, who would have 
none but orthodox graves dug .within its tranquil en- 
closure. The would-be intruders then took a step 
alien to all Quaker principles, and to the whole his- 


tory of their church: they appealed to the civil au- 
thorities to interfere in their behalf, setting forth 
their own claims as loyal citizens, and plainly inti- 
mating that their opponents were Tories, royalists, 
and traitors at heart to the Republic. This petition 
was promptly met by a memorial from the Friends, 
stoutly denying any treasonable intent, and asserting 
that they too were loyal and law-abiding men, who, 
in the matter of the meeting-house and burial ground, 
merely followed the rules of their community, and the 
dictates of their consciences. The lawmakers with 
unwonted sapiency decided that religious dissensions 
were no concern of theirs, and left to the pious dis- 
putants the privilege of settling the quarrel as best 
they could alone. 

They did not settle it at all. They quarrelled 
bravely on, and the Free Quakers built a new meet- 
ing-house at Fifth and Arch Streets, a quaint little 
edifice of red brick, to which Washington, and Frank- 
lin and a great many distinguished people lent liberal 
aid. On a tablet inserted in the wall are cut these 
four lines : — 

"By General Subscription, 
For the Free Quakers. 
Erected A. D. 1783. 
Of the Empire 8." 

The word " Empire " has puzzled good Republicans 
for more than a century. A prominent member of 



the first congregation being asked why it had been 
used, replied valiantly, ''I tell thee, Friend, it is 
because our country is destined to be the great empire 
over all the world," — a loyal sentiment, but one that 
affords no explanation. 

During the Revolutionary war, and in the troubled 
years which immediately followed it, the Free or 
Fighting Quakers enjoyed great popularity, and were 
far better off than their persecuted brethren in the 
fold. They took an active part in politics, and even 
the women gave distinguished proof of their devotion 
to the cause of liberty. Lydia Darragh, who brought 
to Washington's camp at White Marsh news of the 
English army's intended attack, and Elizabeth Ross, 
who made the first flag carried by the American army, 
were both Free Quakers. But when the Federal 
government was firmly established, and the bitterness 
of dissension was at an end, the little congregation 
shared the fate of so many vigorous branches lopped 
from a parent stem. Some of its members returned 
to their old allegiance, and were received back 
into the Society of Friends; some died, and their 
families gradually ceased to attend the Sunday meet- 
ings. Elizabeth Ross, afterwards Elizabeth Claypoole, 
the last of the original seceders, lived until 1836, 
but was too old and infirm to leave her own roof. 
Finally, John Price Wetherill, son of Samuel Wether- 
ill, who had inherited his father's undaunted spirit, 


was reduced to the mournful necessity of worshipping 
alone, or nearly alone, for several years, a strain too 
great to be endured by any man. Accordingly, one 
Sunday morning he closed the meeting-house for the 
last time, and acknowledged the long, long struggle 
to be over. As a religious society, the Free Quakers 
had passed out of existence. 

Yet a career of true usefulness remained to make the 
name honoured and beloved. Mr. Wetherill, clearly 
recognizing the needs of the community in which he 
lived, devoted himself to organizing a committee, the 
members of which should use the funds at their dis- 
posal for charitable and philanthropic purposes. If 
they could no longer minister to the souls of men, 
they could at least feed their bodies and their minds. 
So the red brick house at Fifth and Arch Streets was 
made over to the Apprentices' Library, then the only 
free library in Philadelphia; and for many years the 
nominal rent of fifty dollars was regularly given back, 
to be spent in "good and useful books." Other 
charities were added from time to time as the income of 
the society permitted; and even now this admirable 
organization continues to do its work, without parade, 
without salaried officials, without asking help from the 
public, and without any shadow of sectarianism. The 
Quakers, whether " Free " or in subjection, have never 
sympathized with the pious almsgiving peculiar to 
Christian churches, which follow the example of the 

WAR 215 

careful Jacob, and bestow their mess of pottage, only at 
the price of a brother's birthright. The making, es- 
pecially the buying of converts, finds no place in the 
annals of the Friends. 

Nor did the spirit which impelled these obstinate 
schismatics to play their part in the Revolution die 
with the death of their schism, and the closing of their 
meeting-house. It survived to face another great 
emergency, and, with the breaking out of the Civil 
War, the old combative instinct flared into vehement 
life. Once more the Free Quakers became Fighting 
Quakers, and marched gayly to the front; while the 
treasurer of the Society, too old for active service, raised 
and equipped a company of soldiers at his sole expense, 
and presented them, ready for service, to the State. 
And still inherited characteristics survive, giving 
ample promise for the future. In the sudden mad 
revolts of organized labour, in the bloody scenes at the 
roundhouse of Pittsburg, and in the Homestead riots, 
the Philadelphia militia were never Avithout some 
representatives of the Society, some descendants of the 
Fighting Quakers, ready and keen to preserve un- 
broken the ancient traditions of their name. 



n^HE defeat of Washington's forces on the Brandy- 
wine brought the victorious English army within 
twenty miles of Philadelphia. The successful night 
attack on Wayne's camp at Paoli disheartened still 
further the American soldiers, unused to the fearful 
vicissitudes of war. It only remained for General 
Howe to outmanoeuvre Washington at the Swedes 
Ford by swift marches and counter-marches on the 
west bank of the Schuylkill, which tactics enabled him 
to elude his enemy, cross the river unopposed, and 
enter the city on the twenty-sixth of September, 1777. 
Word was sent to the townspeople, through Thomas 
Willing, that they should remain quietly in their 
homes, and a promise was given that no one should 
be molested in person or in property. This promise 
was kept, for although the soldiers could not always 
be restrained from committing depredations, they were 
punished with severity every time they offended, even 
when soft-hearted sufferers, like Mrs. Samuel Morton, 
tried hard to beg them off. Many prominent Whigs 
had already left Philadelphia. The citizens who re- 




maiiied regarded the advent of the English with con- 
flicting emotions, in which the irrepressible spirit of 
commerce played a weighty part. Robert Morton, 
aged seventeen, wrote in his diary : " Sept. 26th. 
This day has put a period to the existence of Conti- 
nental money in the city. ' Esto Perpetua ! ' " 

It was no pleasant matter, however, for a town of 
thirty thousand inhabitants to be suddenly called 
upon to shelter an invading army nearly eighteen 
thousand strong. The soldiers found quarters wher- 
ever they could, the artillery and the Forty-Second 
Highlanders remaining near the State House, while 
the State House yard was filled with formidable can- 
non. The officers were billeted upon wealthier 
households, not always to the satisfaction of their 
hosts, though, on the whole, sufficiently amicable re- 
lations were maintained. Lord Cornwallis with a 
numerous suite established himself in the home of 
Isaac Norris ; but when Mrs. Norris represented to 
him that it would be impossible for her to remain 
under her own roof with so large a company of sol- 
diers and servants, he courteously expressed his un- 
willingness to cause her any annoyance, and betook 
himself that very afternoon to other lodgings. Gen- 
eral Howe lived first in General Cadwalader's house 
on Second Street, and afterwards in the house of 
Richard Penn, which subsequently became the resi- 
dence of Washington, when President. We have an 


amusing account in Elizabeth Drinker's journal of 
her reluctance to receive an English officer during 
her husband's enforced absence, and of her relief 
when she found the unwelcome guest to be "a 
thoughtful, sober young man," with an equally 
thoughtful, sober servant, neither of whom caused 
any disturbance beneath her quiet roof. In fact, 
" our Major," as she affectionately calls the intruder, 
became after a month or two the object of her careful 
solicitude. He developed, amid the fast growing gaye- 
ties of the town, a taste for late hours and supper 
parties, and she gave him excellent advice, of the 
'^ early to bed and early to rise " order, which he ac- 
cepted with great good-humour, and ill-kept promises 
of amendment. 

Howe's first care was to strengthen the defences of 
Philadelphia by placing batteries along the river front, 
and building a line of redoubts from the Delaware to 
the Schuylkill. Until these defences were completed, 
a portion of his army was left to guard Germantown, 
and the exposed position of this camp determined 
Washington to risk an immediate battle. He divided 
his forces into three columns, the first led by Arm- 
strong, the second by Green, the third by Wayne and 
Sullivan. The attack was made at early dawn on the 
fourth of October. The English, taken by surprise, re- 
treated in some disorder, closely pursued by Wayne, 
until Colonel Musgrave with his six companies of the 



Fortieth Regiment flung himself into the Chew Man- 
sion, and effectually checked the progress of the tri- 
umphant Americans. In vain they essayed to storm 
this strong old country house, thus suddenly turned 
into a fortress. It was not built in this era of feeble, 
flimsy architecture, and Musgrave's men poured a 

•'^^•> -T- 


deadly and continuous fire upon the attacking col- 
umn. To complete the misfortunes of the day, a 
thick autumnal mist shrouded the combatants ; and 
Green's division, pressing eagerly forward along Mill 
Street, was mistaken by Wayne's soldiers for the en- 
emy. The confusion that followed was irreparable ; 
the battle which had promised a victory ended in de- 


feat; and noon saw the American forces retreating 
northward to White Marsh, leaving the English in 
possession of the field. 

To Philadelphia, the news of the struggle at her 
gates brought a fever of excitement. All morning 
she waited in suspense, and by afternoon the first 
wagon -loads of wounded soldiers were dragged 
through her thronged streets. The hospitals were 
filled to overflowing; and Robert Morton tells us 
that Dr. Foulke, demonstrator of anatomy at the 
Medical College, was held to be a far more skilful 
operator than any of the English surgeons : so that 
the wounded Americans had at least the sad comfort 
of having their arras and legs cut off in half the time, 
and with half the suffering endured by their unfortu- 
nate opponents. In those old terrible days, when the 
supreme mercy of anaesthetics had not yet been 
granted to the world, it made a vast difference to the 
poor shattered wretch to know that his agony would 
last twenty instead of forty minutes, and would be 
alleviated by the firm, sure touch of a practised and 
pitying hand. 

The battle of Germantown left Howe free to complete 
his line of redoubts, and to turn his attention to the 
chevaux de frise — Franklin's invention — which still 
stretched across the channel, protecting the American 
ships, and separating the English effectually from their 
fleet, which lay outside under the command of Admiral 



Howe. The invading army depended upon this fleet 
for provisions, for the country about Philadelphia was 
closely watched by detachments of soldiei's under 
Wayne's command ; but the Admiral was unable to pass 
the chevaux de frise while the three forts, Mifflin, Mercer 
and Billingsport,were still in the hands of the Ameri- 
cans. The reduction of these forts became an absolute 
necessity, if eighteen thousand men were not to starve 
in the city they had taken ; but though Billingsport 
was surrendered early in October, Fort Mifflin and Fort 
Mercer held out gallantly for more than a mouth ; des- 
perately attacked and desperately defended, costing 
more lives than were wasted in many a great decisive 
battle, and abandoned by their garrisons, only after they 
had been battered into mere unrecognizable heaps of 
tumbling stones and mortar. In the meantime, the 
colonies had gained elsewhere their first decisive victory. 
The battle of Saratoga had been fought, and Burgoyne 
with six thousand men had surrendered to General Gates. 
But Gates was far away from the poor little besieged 
forts, and made no great speed to draw nearer. When 
they fell, the chevaux de frise was removed, the Ameri- 
can war vessels were captured by the superior English 
fleet, and supplies of every kind were brought in great 
abundance to the city. General Howe and his army, 
free from all immediate apprehensions, settled down 
comfortably for the winter; and Washington withdrew 
to his dismal quarters at Valley Forge, with no prospect 


of anything resembling comfort in the long, cruel 
months of inactivity. 

If, at first, Philadelphia seemed a trifle dull to the 
English officers, they rapidly proceeded to remedy that 
evil. The water was pronounced at once too bad to 
drink, but wine could always be substituted, and the 
town had long been as famous for its fine Madeira as 
for its West India turtle. The damp, unwholesome 
climate was also roundly abused, and, unhappily, no 
substitute was in this case attainable. The women 
were declared with one accord to be both gay and 
charming, and they lent themselves with easy humour 
to strange surroundings, and to the unwonted quicken- 
ing of social life. The deference shown tliem moderated 
in some degree the reckless dissipation of the younger 
men, cadets often of noble houses, to whom the snatch- 
ing of every possible pleasure was as much a part of the 
soldier's life as hard fighting in the field, and grim en- 
durance when there were no pleasures to be snatched. 
The weekly balls at the City Tavern had for these Eng- 
lish lads a keener attraction than even the cock-pit in 
Moore's Alley, or the wild suppers at the "Bunch of 
Grapes," or the club dinners, "late and long," in the 
rooms of the "Indian Queen." The shabby little 
theatre on South Street no longer languished in disgrace, 
but afforded endless entertainment, notwithstanding its 
truly destitute condition. With military readiness of 
resource, the Englishmen were prepared to be actors, 




actresses, scene-painters, supernumeraries, costumers and 
audience. They were equally willing to try their hands 
at tragedy, comedy, farce, or melodrama; and their 
winter's repertoire included such fine contrasts as "The 
Constant Couple," " Douglas," " The Deuce is in Him," 
and the first part of " King Henry IV." 

The best actor in the troupe, the best scene-painter, 
the best costumer, and the only man who could be 
depended upon to write a really 
witty prologue was Major Andr^. 
In all the frivolities of this frivo- 
lous time, his was the central fig- 
ure. His gay good humour, his 
handsome face, his charm of voice 
and manner, made the art of 
pleasing a perilously easy art for 
him to practise. Light of heart 
and steadfast of purpose, he 
shrank from no danger, and neg- 
lected no amusement. He was 

but twenty-seven years old, and his friend and fellow 
actor, De Lancey, was younger still. Indeed, many 
of the officers were mere boys, to whom a skirmish 
or a cricket match were equally acceptable entertain- 
ments. That careless dare-devil, Tarleton, who divided 
his time between riding races and making love, was 
only twenty-one, and a match in precocity for the gal- 
lant young American, " Major Stodard," whom Miss 



Sally Wister extols in her journal as "justly celebrated 
for his powers of mind," and who had gained this envi- 
able distinction at nineteen. 

We can best understand what sober Philadelphia was 
really like in this winter of mad and modish gayety 
when we read contemporary letters, especially the letters 
of women, who have ever been wont to think more of 
pastimes than of politics. Just as Miss Wister, in the 
retirement of country life at Gwynedd, fills up her diary 
with descriptions of the American officers whom the 
chances of war brought under her father's roof, with 
minute accounts of the bewitching costumes she wore 
for their subjection, and with accurate reports of all the 
flattering things they said to her, and of all the viva- 
cious things she said to them ; so the fair Tories in the 
Quaker City describe with equal ardour and fidelity the 
more varied dissipations which filled their nights, and 
filled their hearts, to the exclusion of graver issues. 
Miss Rebecca Franks, who played a prominent part in 
these few months of frolic, can find no words vehement 
enough to express her enjoyment of the situation. 

" You have not the slightest idea," she writes to her 
friend, Mrs. Paca, " of the life of continued amusement 
I live in. I can scarce have a moment to myself. I 
have stole this while everybody is retired to dress for 
dinner. I am but just come from under Mr. J. Black's 
hands, and most elegantly am I dressed for a ball this 
evening at Smith's, where we have one every Thursday. 


You would not know the room, 'tis so much improved. 
I wish to Heaven you were going with us this evening 
to judge for yourself." 

No doubt poor Mrs. Paca, being still young and giddy, 
wished so too, especially when her correspondent goes 
on to assure her that there is never any loss for partnere, 
and that she herself is engaged to seven different gentle- 
men for the evening, as no lady dances more than twice 
with the same cavalier. There is the ring of true girl- 
ish friendship in the closing lines of the letter, an im- 
petuous, generous desire to share all this fun with a 

" Oh ! how I wish Mr. P. would let you come in for 
a week or two. I know you are as fond of a gay life 
as myself. You'd have an opportunity of rakeing as 
much as you choose, either at Plays, Balls, Concerts, or 
Assemblies. I've been but three evenings alone since 
we moved to town. I begin now to be almost tired." 

No wonder that downcast Whigs grew sore at heart 
when they contrasted all this jollity with the hardships 
endured by Washington's ragged army at Valley Forge, 
or with the still sadder lot of the American prisoners 
in Philadelphia, herded together in the old jail on 
Walnut Street under the charge of a brute named 
Cunningham, who proved his total unfitness for such 
an office by wanton cruelty and abuse, and who, it is 
a profound comfort to know, was finally hanged as he 
deserved after his return to England. No wonder that 


dull exiles from the city found it hard to listen with 
tranquillity to letters brimful of plays and dances. No 
wonder that James Allen growled deeply over Phila- 
delphia's "rollicking winter," when he remembered 
his unpaid rents ; or that Christopher Marshall, shut 
up in stupid Lancaster for safety, and well-nigh mad- 
dened by his isolation, — not from balls, but from the 
progress of events, — relieved his mind by storming 
alternately at General Howe, as a "savage monster," 
and at General Washington, as a supine sluggard, — 
equally unmerited reproaches. The situation was par- 
ticularly trying to those Free Quakers who were rich, 
thrifty, disinclined for active service, and discontented 
with the behaviour of everybody about them. " This is 
a strange age in which I now dwell," writes Marshall 
angrily in his " Remembrancer," " because nothing can 
be had cheap but lies, falsehood, and slanderous accusa- 
tions. Love and Charity, the badges of Christianity, 
are not so much as named amongst us." 

It is a painful proof of the bitterness of spirit, which 
grew deeper with every year of warfare, that when 
Mr. William Atlee of Lancaster was moved by pity to 
take under his roof a young English officer, a fever- 
stricken prisoner who bore Mrs. Atlee's maiden name, 
though claiming no relationship, this act of " Love and 
Charity," so far from winning Marshall's approbation, 
rouses him to a whole page of wrathful anathemas 
upon the lukewarm patriotism which made friends of 



enemies, and weakened the cause of freedom by ill- 
timed lenity and vacillation. 

Meanwhile Philadelphia, careless of the darkening 
future, grew gayer and gayer as the spring advanced. 
An occasional skirmish outside the lines hardly sufficed 
to remind the soldiers that there were still military 
duties and dangers to be encountered. Once, indeed. 
La Fayette with twenty -five hundred picked men ad- 
vanced half-way from Valley Forge ; and General 
Howe, eager to defeat this little force and to capture its 
gallant leader, marched hastily to meet them. But 
the Americans, eluding attack, retreated in safety, and 
nothing came of the manoeuvres on either side, save 
some brisk and healthy exercise. England, however, 
was of the opinion that the war might be carried on 
with more fervour ; Howe was recalled in May, to the 
unfeigned distress of both officers and soldiers with 
whom he was equally popular, and Sir Henry Clinton 
succeeded him in the command. 

The famous fete called the Mischianza, of which so 
many accounts have been written, was designed as a 
farewell to Howe, and as a testimony of the affection 
felt for him. The open dissatisfaction expressed by 
the home government for the languor and negligence 
of his campaign merely stimulated his staff to more 
extravagant expressions of their love and loyalty. 
Twenty-two field-officers planned an entertainment 
which in beauty, novelty and costliness surpassed all 



balls and banquets that Philadelphia had ever known 
in her hundred years of existence. It comprised a 
regatta, a tournament, and a dance ; and no pains were 
spared to make it as splendid as colonial resources 
would permit. Walnut Grove, the country-seat of 
Thomas Wharton, was selected as a desirable site ; and 
the gay company who met at Knight's Wharf between 


three and four o'clock on the afternoon of the eighteenth 
of May were carried in decorated barges to the land- 
ing-place at Old Fort, whence they were escorted by 
troops to the wide lawn on which the tournament was 
held. The English fleet lying at anchor with stream- 
ing colours, and the thousands of spectators who 
crowded the wharfs and transport ships, lent pictu- 
resqueness and brilliancy to the scene. On the lawn, 
suitable pavilions had been erected for the ladies. 


twenty-one of whom were dressed in Turkish costumes, 
designed by the indefatigable Andrd, and presenting a 
delightful mixture of the Oriental and the Parisian. 
Andr^ was wont to declare that the Mischianza had 
made of him a most capable milliner; and he wrote 
blithely to Miss Shippen, offering his valuable services, 
and confessing himself ready to enter " into the whole 
details of cap-wire, needles, and gauze." 

The tournament was the remarkable feature of the 
entertainment. The Knights of the Blended Rose and 
the Knights of the Burning Mountain — it all sounds 
horribly Masonic to our dull nineteenth century ears — 
defied each other to mortal combat, shivered their lances 
in orthodox fashion, fired their pistols, — a sad anachro- 
nism, — and engaged valorously with their swords, until 
the Marshal of the Field ordered them, in the name 
of the ladies, to desist. The company then passed 
under triumphal arches, and between files of soldiers, 
into a spacious hall, where the Knights received their 
favours at the hands of the Turkish damsels, and 
refreshed themselves with lemonade and other cooling 
drinks. After this the doors of the ball-room were 
thrown open, revealing a charming apartment deco- 
rated in pale blue and gold, with hanging garlands 
of roses, painted by Andrd and De Lancey, and with 
eighty-five mirrors on the wall, reflecting the beauty 
of the scene. The Knights and their Turkish ladies 
opened the ball, which began early, after the primi- 


tive fashion of our ancestors, and was interrupted at ten 
o'clock by a magnificent display of fireworks. At mid- 
night, supper was served to the exhausted merrymakers, 
who must by that time have been perilously nigh the 
brink of starvation. A very fine supper it was, with 
four hundred and thirty covers, and fully twelve 
hundred dishes. Twenty -four black slaves in Oriental 
costumes, with silver collars and bracelets, waited on 
the guests. The walls of the banqueting room were 
also gayly painted and hung with mirrors, while more 
than a thousand wax tapers shed their soft brilliance 
over scarlet uniforms and silken gowns. At the conclu- 
sion of the feast, a herald, gorgeously attired and pre- 
ceded by trumpeters, proclaimed a number of toasts, 
— the King, the Queen, the Army, the Navy, the 
Commanders, the Knights and Ladies, — after which 
ceremony all returned to the ball-room, and dancecj 
indefatigably until four o'clock. 

Thus the Mischianza lasted, from beginning to end, 
fully twelve hours, and reflected credit on the magnifi- 
cent endurance of the English army and of our Ameri- 
can women. " It was the most splendid entertainment 
ever given by soldiers to their General," writes Andr^, 
contentedly ; and it was certainly one of the longest 
entertainments ever given in modern times to any- 
body. Six days later, Howe sailed for England, amid 
the lamentations of his officers, and to the unfeigned 
regret of the rank and file who loved him better than 


any other commander in the field. Even the phleg- 
matic Hessians felt for him something akin to affec- 
tion; and General Knyphausen broke down in the 
middle of a farewell address, and forgot in his honest 
dejection all the complimentary speeches he had meant 
to utter. 

With the Mischianza, Philadelphia's season of reck- 
less levity came to an abrupt termination. Surely 
the gay Tory dames, the fair Shippens and Chews, the 
vivacious Miss Franks who, with the far handsomer 
Miss Auchmuty, had been crowned Queen of Beauty 
at the tournament, and many another pleasure-loving 
maid must have felt the grey dawn strike chillingly to 
tlieir hearts, as they wended their way homeward, and 
thought of the changes to come. For already there 
was an ominous stir in the camp at Valley Forge, 
where the sharp lessons of suffering and experience 
had made of undisciplined and often cowardly militia, 
soldiers worth leading to the field. That very night, 
while Philadelphia's daughters were dancing in the 
rose-garlanded ball-room, McLane with a few troopers 
and four squads of infantry had sharply attacked the 
redoubts, firing the abatis which adjoined them. But 
while the English officers danced, or gambled at the 
faro tables which the Mischianza had liberally pro- 
vided, the English soldiers kept watchful guard. Sur- 
prise was impossible, and the bold assailants were so 
swiftly repelled that the breathless girls, who paused 


with startled eyes to listen to the thunder of the guns, 
were not even permitted to hear the disquieting news. 
It was a salute, their partners said, a salute to honour 
them ; and with light laughter at their easily awakened 
fears, they turned joyously back to the dance, 

It is a painful truth that not Tory ladies alone 
graced the Mischianza by their presence. The wives 
and daughters of many incorruptible Whigs found the 
temptation too great to be resisted, and their offence 
was hardly of so heinous a nature as to merit the severe 
strictures passed upon it. A ball is always a ball, no 
matter by whom it may be given ; but when to a ball 
is added the startling novelty of a tournament, with 
Knights of the Blended Rose, and Turkish maidens 
carrying favours in their turbans, what wonder that 
curiosity and desire grew too strong to be controlled by 
the abstract spirit of patriotism ! General Wayne, who 
could never bring himself to forgive the light-hearted- 
ness of women, wrote crossly and sarcastically anent 
their misbehaviour in coquetting with "the heavenly, 
sweet, pretty redcoats," adding, in the true tone of 
" Parent's Assistant " : — 

" The Knights of the Blended Roses and of the Burn- 
ing Mount have resigned their laurels to Rebel officers, 
who will lay them at the feet of those virtuous daughters 
of America who cheerfully gave up ease and affluence 
in a city for liberty and peace of mind in a cottage.*' 

Alas I and alas ! outside the covers of Miss Edge- 

A GAY tAPTlVlTT 233 

worth's admirable tales, rewards and punishments are 
not meted out with this scrupulous fidelity to deserts. 
When the Americans regained possession of the Qua- 
ker City, and began to give balls in their turn, they laid 
their laurels — not yet imposing wreaths — somewhat in- 
discriminately at the feet of pretty Whigs and Tories ; 
and the fair Vicaresses of Bray, who had danced all 
night at the Mischianza, showed the same irresistible 
vivacity when Arnold opened his doors for an enter- 
tainment which rivalled in beauty and extravagance 
the gay routs of the redcoat winter. Miss Franks, 
indeed, found the change a melancholy one, though 
there were not wanting American officers ready and 
Avilling to fill the place of her English suitors. Her 
exasperating wit was more piquant than gentle loyalty, 
and the warmth of her impetuous heart won forgive- 
ness for spirited sallies at which everybody laughed, 
and for satiric verses at which nobody could have 
laughed, — they were so exceedingly bad. New York 
opened for her fresh scenes of gayety and dissipation 
until she married a young English officer. Colonel 
Johnson of the Seventeenth Regiment, and sailed for 
England, never to return. Her husband served with 
distinction in many campaigns, succeeded to a good 
estate, and was made a baronet; yet Lady Johnson, 
with the half tender, half whimsical perverseness of 
so many clever women, cherished in old age a regret- 
ful affection for the country she had abandoned, and 


for the cause her foolish girlhood had scorned. " Would 
that I, too, had been a patriot," she said gently to Gen- 
eral Winfield Scott, when he visited her many years 
afterwards at Bath. "I have gloried in my rebel 

Sir Henry Clinton, now in command of the English 
forces, was eager to take the field; but found it no 
easy matter to leave Philadelphia while Washington 
held himself ever in readiness to swoop down on the 
departing army, which was terribly hampered by the 
number of citizens who wished to go to New York 
under its protection, and, what was still more incon- 
venient, wished to carry their worldly possessions along 
with them. Three thousand prominent Tories had 
arranged, indeed, to sail with Admiral Howe's fleet. 
They dared not remain in the town after the protec- 
tion of the troops had been withdrawn ; so, with 
heavy hearts, they bade farewell to their birthplace, 
which few of them were destined to see again, and 
on the seventeenth of June, "the finest and the sad- 
dest night I ever knew," wrote one reluctant exile, 
they beheld for the last time the old familiar land- 
marks fade slowly in the deepening gloom. By far 
the greater number of the loyalists, however, placed 
themselves under the care of the army; and Clinton, 
having completed his preparations with the utmost se- 
crecy, and disposed as best he could his wagons, artil- 
lery and stores, withdrew his forces so swiftly and so 


silently during the night that followed the departure 
of the fleet, that none knew his purpose until the early 
morning showed the city streets silent and deserted. 
"The English did not go away," it was said, "they van- 
ished"; and Miss Wister records in her diary the aston- 
ishment that was felt at Gwynedd when the unexpected 
news reached them. The word flew fast and far over 
the country-side, and a few hours after Clinton's rear- 
guard had left Gloucester Point, a regiment of Ameri- 
can dragoons galloped past the quiet State House 
yard. The fortunes of Philadelphia had reached 
another turning-point; a new, and not altogether a 
joyful life, awaited her. 

It was one thing, however, for the Englishmen to 
slip off on their perilous march, and quite another 
for them to continue it in safety. Washington was 
on their track; his forces outnumbered theirs, and 
he was not impeded by a vast quantity of stores and 
luggage. Whether it was pride, or kindness, or sheer 
obstinacy that made Clinton hold fast to the mani- 
fold possessions of the flying Tories, would be hard 
to say. At one moment he resolved to make a bon- 
fire of all their encumbering wagons, and, at the next, 
determined to keep his word, and guard them to the 
end. An action was inevitable, and on the twenty- 
eighth of June was fought the often discussed and in- 
decisive battle of Monmouth. The heat was terrible, 
— that sudden, ruthless, mortal heat which nature holds 


in capricious reserve, and which is her chosen weapon 
when it pleases her to play a part in the futile strug- 
gles of men. Soldiers fell dead in their ranks with- 
out a wound. The Hessians roundly swore they could 
not and would not fight under such a pitiless sun. 
What the issue of the combat might have been, had 
General Charles Lee not retreated too soon over the 
dangerous morasses, and had Washington not ad- 
vanced too soon to attack the only partially en- 
tangled enemy, is a point which still interests the 
student of military tactics. Ordinary readers are con- 
tent to know that the action was without results, 
and that the lively satisfaction expressed on both 
sides probably meant that both sides were equally 
discontented. The Americans solaced themselves by 
court-martialling and disgracing General Lee. The 
English enjoyed the proud consciousness of having 
saved every wagon-load of stores, at the sacrifice of 
many lives. Sir Henry Clinton pursued his way to 
New York without further molestation, and Wash- 
ington, turning back, took possession of Philadelphia. 



A CITY which has been for nine months in the 
hands of a foreign enemy is always a pitiable 
sight. Armies are demoralizing things, and it is 
only after they have taken their departure that the 
full extent of the mischief they have wrought becomes 
apparent to every eye. Sober thrift and quiet recti- 
tude have well-nigh vanished. The industrious artisan 
has become a midnight brawler ; the once decent young 
housewife walks the streets, an outcast, with her 
bastard baby in her arms. Restlessness and discontent 
are in the very air, and the old, dull, decorous life 
has become distasteful, alike to men and women. 
Poor Philadelphia, bruised, and sore, and shaken, 
needed a firm and kindly rule to bring her back to 
health; but having suffered sadly from her foes, she 
found herself, on the return of friends, to be in a 
far worse case than ever. It is true there were not 
wanting men who, like Morris, and Wilson, and Dr. 
Rush, strove hard to stem the tide of violence, and 
to save their city from an ignoble reign of terror, 
which had not even the saving grace of mistaken 



enthusiasm. But loud-voiced demagogues held the 
public ear; and the mob, so long repressed by the 
presence of an unsympathetic soldiery, was once more 
happy and alert. There was a fierce demand for 
vengeance upon Tories, and the selection of a few 
victims to appease the people became a matter of 
immediate necessity. The men picked out for this 
purpose were well chosen, being too poor and humble 
to have troublesome friends, yet not so absolutely 
insignificant as to make their execution a matter of 
no moment to anybody. They were both Quakers, a 
happy stroke of diplomacy, and both were charged 
with the same offence. Carlisle, a carpenter, had 
kept one of the city gates during the English occu- 
pancy; and Roberts, a miller, though no such impor- 
tant post was ever assigned him, had enlisted under 
General Howe's command, and would have been wiser 
had he departed with the rest of the troops. 

These two carefully selected malefactors were tried 
in the criminal court for high treason, and condemned 
to death. The jury that brought in the verdict of 
guilty recommended them to mercy, and petitions for 
their pardon were signed by many hundreds of citi- 
zens, including prominent Whigs. But the mob, like 
the Minotaur, demanded its dole, and on the fourth 
of November, Elizabeth Drinker writes sadly in her 
diary : — 

"They have actually put to death, Hang'd on ye 



Commons, John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, this 
morning. An awful day it has been/' 

General Arnold was placed by Washington in com- 
mand of PJiiladelphia, and at once began that life of 



MT. pleasant: ARNOLD'S HOMB 

costly and formal elegance which gave universal dis- 
satisfaction, and to supply the money for which he 
plunged deeper and deeper into speculations. It is 
not always an easy matter to content civilians, who 
have ever been wont to complain loudly of the wan- 
tonness of soldiers ; and we find the irascible Chris- 


topher Marshall inveighing with much bitterness 
against the officers of Washington's staff : " Careless 
of us, but carefully consulting where they shall go to 
spend the winter in jollity, gaming, and carousing; " 
a reproach to which the wind-swept hills of Valley 
Forge could have made answer true. Arnold's un- 
popularity, however, was a serious matter. In social 
life he had many friends, and his marriage with Miss 
Margaret Shippen allied him closely to the most 
prominent families in Philadelphia ; but the people in 
general — not the rabble, but the respectable portion 
of the community — were deeply angered by his 
pride, and regarded his suddenly acquired wealth 
with equal qwyj and mistrust. Joseph Reed, the 
president of the Executive Council and the acknow- 
ledged leader of the Constitutionalists, was his 
avowed enemy; and the quarrels between these two 
opposing powers relieved Philadelphia of any op- 
pressive dulness during the autumn and early winter 
of 1779. Reed accused Arnold of gross venality; 
Arnold accused Reed of inciting riots, and laid upon 
his shoulders -^-unjustly — the blame for the shame- 
ful inertness which permitted a mob of only two 
hundred men to destroy what property it pleased on 
the fourth of October, and to shoot Captain Camp- 
bell at the window of his own house. 

In truth, it was a time of reckless agitation, and 
the spirit of revolt against all authority, public or 


private, was rapidly undermining common safety and 
domestic restraint. Elizabeth Drinker writes on one 
page of her journal; "Our great men, or ye men in 
Power, are quarrelling very much among themselves;" 
and on the next, with a ludicrous appreciation of 
her own personal discomfort in this fine, strange at- 
mosphere of freedom : *' Our new maid had a visitor 
all day, and has invited her to lodge with her, with- 
out asking leave. Times are much changed, and 
Maids have become Mistresses." 

We hear a great deal during the next few years, both 
in letters and journals, about the vexatious behaviour 
of servants. Marshall grows eloquent on the subject, 
and confesses that his wife has been made ill more 
than once by sheer anxiety for a little lass who 
has been bound to them, and who persists, notwith- 
standing many exhortations and corrections, in stay- 
ing out all night. The streets of Philadelphia, once 
so quiet and secure, were no longer safe for any 
woman after the twilight hour. The country roads, 
once peaceful as those of Arcady, were now infested 
by prowling soldiers, deserters, and* highwaymen. 
The history of the Doans, five robber brothers, 
"strong, handsome, generous, and humane," — if we 
may trust contemporary records, — affords a pleasing 
illustration of the time. These famous and very 
popular outlaws were Tory sympathizers who, in the 
beginning of the war, hoped to preserve a strict neu- 


trality; but who found themselves soon objects of 
suspicion and attack. They were heavily fined for 
non-attendance on militia duty, their stock was sold, 
their farm was confiscated. They then resolved to 
follow the memorable examples of Dick Turpin and 
Claude Duval, and, taking the road, became a terror 
to the whole country-side. Like their models, they 
were capriciously generous, giving freely to the poor 
what they stole from the rich; and the small farmers 
of the neighbourhood, whose political principles were 
of the vaguest order, had no fault to find with men 
who never took so much as a turnip from their fields, 
and who often assisted them in the profitable but peri- 
lous business of supplying food to the hungry Eng- 
lish soldiers. Women, with their customary disregard 
for dull integrity, looked upon the five brothers as 
heroes of romance ; and children, listening eagerly to 
tales of their intrepid exploits, resolved to be high- 
waymen themselves as soon as ever they were grown. 
" The Doans," we are told, " delighted to injure pub- 
lic property, but did no harm to the weak, the poor, 
or the peaceful." 

Even public property, however, deserves some sort 
of protection, and even the rich weary in time of being 
despoiled. When the depredations of these spirited out- 
laws became too heavy for endurance, a strong body of 
militia was sent to assist the sheriff in tracking them 
down. They were hunted day and night, were finally 


brought to bay, and made a most desperate resistance. 
Two were shot dead by the soldiers, one escaped, and 
two were brought prisoners to Philadelphia, and hanged 
without delay. In the city they excited profound sym- 
pathy. " Many temperate people," says their historian, 
" expressed great commiseration for them " ; and the 
memory of their courage and their kindness surviving 
the memory of their misdeeds, they grew in time to be 
considered as upholders of a lost cause, rather than 
criminals brought to justice, and expiating their offences 
against society upon the gallows-tree. 

None of this sentimental regard was evinced for an- 
other class of law-breakers, whose transgressions were 
of the mildest order, and who sinned against the com- 
munity, only that they might obey the troublesome 
dictates of their consciences. The Quakers could not 
and would not serve in the militia. Strict members of 
the Society held it unlawful to offer an armed resistance 
to any authority, however tyrannous and oppressive. 
This subjected them to heavy fines, which, unhappily, 
they thought it, not only inconvenient, but wrong, to 
pay. Certain taxes levied for military purposes were 
also regarded by them as iniquitous, and they opposed 
to all such measures their old weapon of passive, im- 
pregnable obstinacy. In colonial days, wise men like 
Benjamin Franklin had known how to circumvent these 
ill-timed scruples ; and the Quakers had not always been 
averse to the diplomacy which wrested from them 


measures they could not openly concede, and saved them 
from a dangerous rupture with conflicting powers. But 
the men now holding authority were in no humour for 
dallying with the disaffected, or making allowances for 
perverse conscientiousness. The Friends, moreover, 
were exceedingly unpopular with the mob, which was 
sure to applaud any severe measures passed against them. 
Already many prominent members of the Society had 
suffered banishment and confiscation. Those who re- 
mained were liable at any time to have their houses 
searched for English goods, or their furniture dragged 
away to be sold for an unpaid fine. The entries in 
Elizabeth Drinker's diary show her to have lost in this 
manner so many of her household chattels, that the 
reader wonders she had pot or pan, chair or table, left 
in her pillaged home. There is something irresistibly 
pathetic in the sight of any woman despoiled of those 
belongings to which she clings with an affection man 
seldom understands ; and our sympathy for this Quaker 
housewife is all the keener because she utters no word 
of complaint, but states as briefly as possible, and with- 
out comment, the losses she suffers day by day. 

On the fourteenth of June, 1779, she writes : " George 
Pickering came this afternobn for ye Non-association 
fine, which came to thirteen pounds, which is thirteen 
shillings, as ye money now is exchanged twenty to one. 
He took a Looking-glass worth between forty and fifty 
shillings, six newfashioned Pewter plates, and a three 



quart Pewter Bason, little or nothing the worse for ye 

Again, in the early autumn, she makes a similar 
entry: "This morning, in meeting time, (myself at 
home) Jacob Franks and a son of Cling, ye Vendue 
Master, came to seize for ye Continental Tax. They 
took from us one Walnut Dining-Table, one Mahogany 
Tea-Table, six handsome Walnut Chairs with open 
backs, crow feet, a shell on ye back and on each 
knee," — how lovingly minute this description! — "a 
Mahogany-framed Sconce Looking-glass, and two large 
Pewter Dishes. They carried them off in a cart from 
ye door to Cliiig's." 

Poor mistress of an empty house who watched her 
well-kept chairs dragged off in this ignominious way to 
public execution, and whose grief at losing them was 
heightened by the knowledge that the miserable sums 
for which they were to be sold bore no proportion to 
their value! There is real bitterness — though still no 
open outcry — in the brief note of May 1, 1780: 
" Jeremiah Baker took a Mahogany folding Card-Table 
from us this mornjng, for a Northern Liberty Tax 
amounting to about eighteen shillings. Ye Table was 
worth between tliree and four pounds." 

How very much easier and more agreeable to have 
paid the eighteen shillings, we cannot help thinking; 
but there is no tyrant so oppressive as an inexorable 
conscience, and it is plain that this alternative never 



even presented itself to the minds of the unfortunate 
Quakers, despoiled by the strong hand of the law. 

All this time, the depreciation of the currency, the 
scarcity of provisions, the alarmingly high prices 
demanded for the bare necessities of life, and the grow- 
ing unwillingness of merchants to sell at any price, 



were fast bringing Philadelphia to a condition of abso- 
lute distress. The angry Constitutionalists clung to 
the notion that the remedy for these evils lay in 
stringent legislation, and they resolved to bully the 
State back into its old prosperity. It was not possible, 
indeed, for the Committee of Inspection to make 
butter, sorely though the butter was needed ; but it 
was possible to pass a law, forbidding any man to pay 


more than fifteen shillings a pound for it. Neither 
could the members of the Committee grow wheat, 
though the poor cried out for bread ; but they could 
devise another law, forbidding farmers and traders to 
sell their grain privately, or to ask its full value in 
the open markets. Nothing is easier than this kind 
of legislation, and nothing more purely inefficacious. — 
"There shall be in England seven half-penny loaves 
sold for a penny ; the three-hooped pot shall have ten 
hoops ; and I will make it felony to drink small beer." 
Rather than part with goods at a loss, the merchants 
closed their shops, the importers concealed their stores, 
the farmers brought no more provisions for the hungry 
townsfolk to eat. 

Congress, meanwhile, was helping liberally to lead 
the country to financial dishonour and ruin by re- 
peated issues of worthless paper, — five millions one 
month, ten millions another, twenty millions the next, 
until the currency became so absolutely valueless as 
to pass into a familiar proverb, — "not worth a Con- 
tinental." By the close of the war, four hundred 
dollars of American money would not bring four 
English shillings ; but as early as 1780, a man might 
come perilously nigh starvation while his pockets were 
lined with notes. " I have more money than ever I 
had, but I am poorer than ever I was," complained a 
writer in Dunlap's Packet; and his state was the state 
of all. An apprentice lad named Leyham, having 


served two months in the militia, received two hundred 
dollars for his pay. He bought a pair of shoes for one 
hundred dollars, invested another hundred in a sleigh- 
ride, and w^ent empty-handed home. A Philadelphia 
barber of a humorous turn of mind papered the walls 
of his shop with the depreciated currency, to the huge 
delight of his customers. At the sale of Cornelius 
Land's household effects, a frying-pan brought one hun- 
dred and twenty-five dollars ; a wood-saw, one hundred 
and eighty-five dollars ; three steel forks, one hundred 
and twelve dollars, and an old clock, eleven hundred 
dollars. Silk sold in the Philadelphia shops at one hun- 
dred dollars a yard, tea at sixty dollars a pound. A 
bill of Colonel Allen's has come down to us from this 
happy period, and illustrates the formidable cost of arti- 
cles which could never have been considered luxuries. 

« 1 Pair Boots 

6 1 yds. Calico, at $85 per Yard 

6 yds. Chintz, at |150 do. 

4-} yds. Moreen, at |100 do. 

4 Handkerchiefs, at $100 each . 

8 yds. Quality Binding, at |4 per Yard 

1 Skein Silk 

"Jan. 5th, 1781." 



Quite a little fortune for such a modest account. 
How many thousands of dollars must a woman have 
crowded into her purse, when she went forth to do a 
morning's shopping ! 



It seems incredible that men could be found willing 
to play their parts in this financial farce, and to thrust 
the dismal diversion upon othei-s. But in the spiing of 
1781 a new issue of paper currency was ordered, and, 
at the same time, stringent laws were passed to compel 
the people to receive it. Any one who expressed a 
preference for real money, when this make-believe 
money was offered to him, should be taught by heavy 
fines the wickedness of such unpatriotic discrimination. 
A small minority of Anti-Constitutionalists, led by 
Robert Morris and Thomas Mifflin, did, indeed, oppose 
the measure with all their strength ; and, knowing too 
well such opposition was in vain, Morris prepared and 
offered to the Assembly a protest, in which he expressed 
in no unfaltering terms the contempt of a sane and 
honourable man for such wanton destruction of the 
public credit. The time was soon to come when the 
finances of the country were to be in his capable 
hands ; but, even in the present chaotic confusion, 
he laboured hard to bring about some semblance of 
law and order. The Bank of Pennsylvania, which 
was founded solely in the interest of Washington's 
army, was due largely to his ability and munificence. 
Without its help, the ragged and hungry troops 
must have either disbanded or starved in tlieir 
quarters. The Bank of North America, chartered by 
Congress iis well as by the Assembly, was organized 
upon his plans, and controlled by his policy. In the 




days of our deepest humiliation it restored credit, 
quickened commerce, supplied some measure of in- 
tegrity, and saved us from financial ruin. Its history, 
however, belongs to a later period, when foreign foes 
had yielded their place to domestic enemies, less easily 
reckoned with, and far less easily sub- 
In January, 1779, Con- 
gress celebrated with a 
. great civic ban- 
quet the long de- 
sired and long 
delayed alliance 
with France. It 
had been no easy 
task for Franklin 
to cement this 
alliance, and to 
make of senti- 
mental friendship a 
firm national bond. 
The French, in- 
deed, had received him with effusive delight. He was 
the idol of the hour. His house at Passy was the resort 
of statesmen, scientists, and scholars. If he appeared 
in the streets, the mob shouted itself hoarse in his 
honour; when he went to court, fair ladies dropped 
wreaths upon his head, which must have been inex- 



pressibly embarrassing. Wits praised his conversation, 
dandies, his dress, and poets dedicated to him verses 
that were fully as bad as his own. His benignant 
features were painted over and over again, and his 
portraits set in lockets, rings, and snuff-boxes. Learned 
Academicians shed teai-s of joy on seeing him embraced 
by Voltaire. The enthusiasm he aroused extended it- 
self to the country he represented; and the cause of 
the colonists was pronounced to be the cause of justice, 
liberty, and humanity. Yet none the less, France hesi- 
tated long ere she sent her aid to these admirable 
patriots, the success of whose arms seemed then more 
than doubtful; and French capitalists prudently de- 
clined to lend a single franc to men whose courage 
and pj-inciples they ardently admired, but whose finan- 
ciering was open to objections. From the universal 
admiiation for all things pertaining to America, the 
American currency was most unkindly omitted. 

It cannot be denied that the allurements of a bril- 
liant society, and the still more congenial companion- 
ship of learned men, beguiled Franklin into an 
occasional neglect of his mission. He wrote some 
excellent pamphlets which few people read, and 
which convinced nobody; and he assured his friends 
at home that nothing but their own success would 
persuade France to become their ally. This was 
true. Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga did more 
service than a year's hard talking. For the first time, 


French strategists thought it worth while to lend aid 
to 6he colonies, in the hope of injuring Great Britain. 
The treaty which recognized the independence of the 
United States was signed February sixth, 1778 ; the 
following month, Franklin was formally received at 
court as an American commissioner; and, on the thir- 
teenth of April, D'Estaing sailed with his fleet from 

The arrival in France of that clear-headed man of 
affairs, John Adams, brought order out of chaos, and 
gave a less sentimental basis to the friendship be- 
tween the two nations. Franklin was appointed our 
minister; and, while Adams toiled like a clerk in the 
commissioner's office, the philosopher played chess 
with Mme. Brillon, or wrote his famous " Bagatelles " 
for the amusement of that vivacious slattern, Mme. 
Helvetius. He was now over seventy, and had merited 
a few years of trifling by a lifetime of arduous and 
useful labour. Leisure he enjoyed, as well as the 
lively and affectionate society of women. The en- 
thusiasm manifested by France for himself, and for 
his work, awakened in his heart corresponding senti- 
ments of cordiality ; and he had no fault to find with 
this Arcadian and misrepresented nation, save that 
it took too much snuff, and wore too much powder 
on its hair, — offences so venial they could hardly 
have merited a revolution for their Nemesis. At 
times, amid the pleasures and honours of his official 



life, he sighed for his old home, and begged to be 
recalled ; but his popularity was so great, and his 
name carried with it such weight and influence 
in diplomatic circles, that it was not deemed expedi- 
ent to permit his return until 1785, when Thomas 
Jefferson wiis sent to fill his place. 

The alliance with France infused fresh hope and 
courage into the hearts of the despondent Americans. 
On the twenty-fifth of August, 1780, the Chevalier de 
Luzerne gave a grand entertainment to the members 
of Congress and other prominent citizens, in honour 
of the French King's birthday. Our enthusiasm for 
our allies was mounting fast to fever heat, and, in- 
deed, the country sorely needed any emotion which 
could enliven or sustain it. Confidence was lost. 
Our troops, ill-fed, ill-clad, unpaid, were sullen and 
mutinous, held in their ranks with difficulty, not- 
withstanding the brutal punishments inflicted on de- 
serters, and accustomed to revenge their own hardships 
upon the farmers and country people whom they plun- 
dered without mercy. The feeble resources of the 
revenue had been taxed to the utmost. Political 
leadei-s, impotent for good, were quarrelling fiercely 
among themselves, and Philadelphia was the chosen 
arena for their disgraceful strife. " It is obvious," 
wrote Reed to Washington, "that the bulk of the 
people are weary of the war " ; and Washington 
sadly confessed in return that never before had he 


seen the discontent so general and so alarming. The 
French officers were angry and aghast at the forlorn 
condition of our affairs, which seemed hopeless to 
men who could not understand what splendours of 
endurance and action still lay behind that "slough of 
Despond." " Send us ships, troops, and money," 
wrote Rochambeau to Vergennes; "but do not de- 
pend upon these people, nor upon their means." 

When the skies were darkest, and brave hearts were 
heaviest, came the news of Arnold's proposed treachery, 
casting a taint of dishonour upon the whole country, 
and adding a burden of bitter humiliation to the ac- 
cumulated disasters of the war. The plot, indeed, 
was discovered. West Point was saved, and Andre died 
a shameful death on the bleak hillside of Tappan. 

"He was not slain with the sword, 
Knight's axe, or the knightly spear ; '* 

and the tragic sharpness of his fate has made imper- 
ishable the name of the blithe young soldier whose 
race was so swiftly run. He is truly the world's con- 
queror whose name the world holds dear. Not years 
of honourable work, well done and amply rewarded, 
win this capricious and undying regard ; but rather 
the sudden snatching away of life full to the brim 
of gladness, and gay courage, and the promise of 
noble things. Andre's remains were carried over 
the sea in 1821, and interred in the south aisle of 


Westminster Abbey, where sleep the best and bravest 
of England's soldier sons. The inscription on his 
monument states simply that he was beloved by his 
fellow oflficers, and that he died for his country and 
his King. 

In Philadelphia, where Arnold was so well known, 
and where the proudest and happiest period of his 
life had been passed, the news of his treason awakened 
a fierce but easily allayed excitement. His estate was 
immediately confiscated, and everything that belonged 
to him was publicly sold. His wife entreated permis- 
sion to remain under her father, Mr. Edward Ship- 
pen's, protection ; but this grace was denied her, and 
she received orders from the Executive Council to 
leave Pennsylvania within two weeks. She joined 
her husband in New York, and subsequently went with 
him to London, where Sir Banastre Tarleton was wont 
to declare her the handsomest woman in Great Britain. 
The Philadelphia mob solaced itself by hanging Arnold 
in effigy, and expended much wit in devising a figure 
with two faces, which held a mask in its hand, and rep- 
resented the traitor. This puppet was dragged in a 
cart through the streets, accompanied by a picturesque 
and, it was hoped, accurate facsimile of the devil, 
and preceded by a band of music making all the 
noise it could. The populace was so well amused by 
the procession, and b}^ the hanging and burning of 
the effigy, that it neglected its usual pastimes. No 


Tories were stoned, no doors nor windows broken, 
no property of any kind destroyed, though many 
citizens, as guiltless as the puppet, passed anxious 
hours before the peaceful rising of the sun. 

In September, 1781, the French troops under Count 
Rochambeau passed through Philadelphia on their way 
south, where the repeated successes of the American 
arms had given a new aspect to the war, and filled 
despondent hearts with hope. The splendid appear- 
ance of these foreign allies, their martial bearing, their 
debonair gayety and good-humour won universal ad- 
miration. The regiment De Soissonnais especially, 
in its picturesque uniform with rose-coloured facings 
and white and rose-coloured plumes, lent a most 
welcome air of brightness and well-being to our for- 
lorn, threadbare army, which had never been fine, and 
which was now pathetically shabby. The Frenchmen 
were reviewed by Chief Justice McKean, who wore 
on this occasion a brave suit of black velvet which 
must have cost at least five thousand dollars of Conti- 
nental currency. General Washington, Count Ro- 
chambeau, and M. de Luzerne were present ; and the 
universal satisfaction was vastly increased when it 
was made known that four hundred thousand crowns 
had come over from France, and that there was once 
more a prospect of our own troops wearing — not rose- 
coloured plumes, but sound shoes and decent breeches. 
So great was the public joy over this brighter outlook, 


that the mob in buoyant mood surrounded the resi- 
dence of M. de Luzerne, and kept him awake all 
night by shouting lustily for King Louis XVI. 

Before the allied armies left for the south, news of 
a still more important character was brought to cheer 
them on their way. The French fleet under the com- 
mand of Count de Grasse had crossed the seas in 
safety, and lay awaiting further orders in the Chesa- 
peake. It was this fleet which, closing in on the 
Virginia coast, cut off from the Englisli army all 
chance of escape by water, and compelled Lord 
Cornwallis to surrender to General Washington at 
Yorktown, October 19, 1781. On the twenty-third of 
October, two hours before sunrise, the word was 
carried by an express rider into sleepy Philadelphia; 
and a German watchman, who was the first to hear 
the news, proceeded tranquilly on his rounds, an- 
nouncing at intervals to such as lay awake to listen : 
" Past three o'clock, and Lord Cornwallis is taken." 



^T^HE surrender at York town practically closed the 
war, although the treaty of peace was not signed 
until two years later. A burden was lifted from the 
hearts of men, and every colony joined in the universal 
thanksgiving. Philadelphia expressed her lively satis- 
faction after her time-honoured methods ; rang her bells 
with joyful ardour, fired salutes all day long, and sent 
off countless rockets at night. Weary of war and of 
politics, she longed to be a little gay and cheerful once 
again, albeit the State House walls still echoed the wran- 
gling of her leaders. The South wark Theatre, which 
had been closed since the English occupation, was 
opened with cautious courage under the euphonious title 
of *' Academy of Polite Science," as the word theatre 
still stuck in the throats of the godly; and the first 
representation was given in honour of General Wash- 
ington after his return from Virginia. Beaumarchais' 
" Eugenie " was the play, with " The Lying Valet " for 
an afterpiece; and there was moreover a fine patriotic 
prologue, designed to soften the hearts of the Pres- 
byterians, and a grand transparency symbolizing the 




union of the States, to please all the distinguished 
officers who were present. 

In point of fact, no one was more grateful for a little 
timely diversion than Washington, for on his shoulders 
had fallen burdens too heavy to be carried, and anxieties 
too keen to be endured. Relaxation of some kind was 
a supreme necessity ; and he had, in addition, that love 


of pleasure which was inherent in every Virginia gentle- 
man. It was not the theatre alone which delighted him, 
but the circus, and every other show, including balloon 
ascensions, which were perhaps his supreme favourites, 
and cock-fights, which he relished as unblushingly as 
Christopher North. The minute record he kept of his 
expenses enables us to know how ardently he tried to 
amuse himself, and how little the country afforded in 


the way of entertainment. He gave nine shillings to a 
man ^' who brought an elk to exhibit " ; and he went 
with impartial avidity to see an automaton, a dancing 
bear, a puppet show, waxworks, and a tiny menagerie, 
which consisted exclusively of a tiger and a lioness. He 
had a passion for lotteries and raffles, in both of which 
he was distinctly unlucky all his life. The money he 
invested in lottery tickets brought him in scant return, 
and he never drew one of the alluring things for which 
he purchased a chance. Whether it were a necklace, 
a coach, a watch, or a gun, he met with the same unfail- 
ing disappointment. '' By profit and loss, in two chances 
in raffliiig for Encyclopaedia Britannica, which I did not 
win, <£l/4," — is a characteristic entry in his account 

On the thirteenth of May, 1781, M. de Luzerne for- 
mally announced to Congress the birth of the Dauphin 
of France, a child who escaped by an early death the 
bitter fate of his younger brother, the boy martyr of 
the Temple, the most pathetic figure in history's blood- 
stained page. A letter from the King was presented 
and read on this occasion, and much public interest was 
manifested. Indeed, our affection for our allies had by 
this time reached its height, and the little prince was 
the object of an enthusiasm as keen and as transient as 
if we had been his hereditary subjects. The general 
satisfaction was quickened into delight when, on the 
fifteenth of July, M. de Luzerne gave his celebrated /<?^e 



du Dauphin^ the most costly and beautiful entertainment 
Philadelphia had witnessed since the Mischianza. Fif- 
teen hundred guests were invited, who arrived promptly 
at half-past seven. The gardens surrounding the min- 
ister's house were brilliantly illuminated, and a hall or 
pavilion, open to the air, was erected for the dancers. 
The contemporary descriptions of this garden and this 
hall sound like Aladdin's palace. It is difficult to 
read the glowing paragraphs, and imagine arches, colon- 
nades, leafy bowers, glittering domes, and deep romantic 
groves as parts of the old Carpenter Mansion at Sixth 
and Chestnut Streets. 

The interior of the dancing-hall, which had been 
built by a French architect in less than six weeks, 
was elaborately ornamented, and lit by hundreds of 
tapers. Four statues stood within four niches: Diana 
hurling her spear. Flora garlanded with roses, Hebe 
holding Jove's cup, and Mars leaning on his shield, 
upon which was appropriately engraved the cipher of 
General Washington. The entertainment, as gener- 
ous as the Mischianza, began with a concert, after 
which came a display of fireworks, "of superior and 
unrivalled excellence.'' The ball was then formally 
opened, and at one o'clock supper was served. Thirty 
army cooks were engaged to prepare this supper, and, 
as they were French army cooks, it was probably good. 
The heat was oppressive, and although we are assured 
that "joy did not cease to sparkle in every eye," it is 



evident that it sparkled languidly, and that even the 
youngest and gayest of the guests felt dancing to be 
a diversion ill-suited for such a tropical night. 

Philadelphia was, indeed, singularly unfortunate in 
having all her anniversaries and grand celebrations in 
midsummer. George III. had been born, reasonably 
enough, on the fourth of June ; and in the old loyal 
days it had required no great endurance to eat noon- 
tide dinners in his honour on the Schuylkill's pleas- 
ant banks. But the French King's birthday, which 
was now kept with amazing fervour, and made the 
occasion of yearly banquets and rejoicings, came most 
inopportunely on the twenty-third of August. Our 
own national holiday left nothing to be desired in the 
way of burning heat; and a ball on the fifteenth of 
July must have been but a doubtful pleasure. Per- 
haps the people who enjoyed it most were the unbid- 
den guests; for M. de Luzerne, mindful of the charms 
of publicity as exemplified in the French court, had 
thrown down the brick walls which encircled his 
garden, so that the populace could enjoy the brilliant 
scene, and some ten thousand spectators availed them- 
selves cheerfully of the privilege. General Washing- 
ton, Count Rochambeau, the Marquis de Chastellux, 
Robert Morris, Dickinson, Mifflin, and a host of other 
distinguished men were there to be stared at; while 
an Indian chief or two lent variety and picturesque- 
ness to the scene. A most unique feature of the 


entertainment was an apartment fitted up by the 
thoughtful host for the reception of those Quaker 
ladies whose principles would not permit them to join 
in the gayety ; but who watched the dancers through 
a gauze curtain, — themselves unseen, — just as the 
Moslem women of Cairo look down through the lat- 
ticed screens of their opera boxes upon the singei*s on 
the stage, or, it may be, upon their husbands sitting 
with fair-haired English girls, at whose feet lie all the 
forbidden pleasures of the world. 

The treaty of peace concluded in Paris was finally 
signed at Versailles, on the third of September, 1783 ; 
Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay acting as our 
representatives. The independence of the States, of 
such, at least, as lay between the Atlantic coast and the 
Mississippi River, was recognized by England; the Eng- 
lish troops sailed from New York on the twenty-fifth 
of November, and General Washington, resigning his 
commission, went blithely to spend his Christmas at 
Mount Vernon. 

Philadelphia had not lacked occupation or excite- 
ment during these last months of uncertainty, for to 
the fierce quarrels of her politicians had been added 
the riotous behaviour of the soldiers, who fancied them- 
selves imperious legions ready to terrorize a second 
Rome. The city had borne upon her shoulders the 
heaviest burdens and responsibilities of the Revolu- 
tionary war. As the birthplace of the infant nation, 


as the centre of interest, and the scene of the most 
important movements and events, she had been 
weighted with obligations which she had striven hard 
to fulfil, though rent with wounds, and shamed by 
the violence of her sons. Now that peace was as- 
sured, she drew a great breath of joyous relief, and 
prepared to turn her attention to her long neglected 
industries and commerce. It was necessary also to 
do justice to the college she had so wantonly injured, 
to restore the rights of citizenship to many who had 
been unwarrantably disenfranchised, to satisfy her 
public creditors, and to reestablish that sound finan- 
cial basis which the Continental currency had hope- 
lessly destroyed. 

In none of these laudable ambitions was she des- 
tined to immediate success. The ancient charter of the 
college was given back, but vitality and the spirit of 
scholarship would not return at the Assembly's per- 
suasive call. The rival university still struggled hard 
for precedence, albeit there were many in her faculty, 
who, if we may trust the biting sarcasm of Dr. Rush, 
" knew not whether Cicero plead in Latin or in Greek, 
or whether Horace was a Roman or a Scotchman." 
The Whigs still clamoured vehemently against any 
concessions to the Tories, and succeeded for years in 
keeping alive a purposeless spirit of hostility. The 
creditors were left to mourn tlieir unwise liberality; 
and the fierce attack of the Constitutionalists, under 

liECONti Tit UCTION 265 

Reed, upon the Bank of North America, proves that 
party spirit was still strong enough, and bitter enough, 
to play havoc with matters of finance. Philadelphia's 
politicians were in the habit of regarding the charter 
granted to an institution very much as a mother re- 
gards the toy given to a child, — as something to be 
taken away, placed on a shelf out of reach, and re- 
turned again, according to the caprice of the donor, or 
the amiability of the recipient. This is not a method 
calculated to produce confidence and security in the 
public mind; it is difficult to lay strong foundations 
on the shifting sands of partisanship; and, had the 
bank not been chartered by Congress as well as by 
the Assembly, it must inevitably have been destroyed, 
and the splendid efforts of Robert Morris to remedy 
the financial weakness of the country would have been, 
to our lasting shame, frustrated by political animosity. 
After Washington, and after Franklin, the man to 
whom the nation owed its heaviest debt, its deepest 
gratitude, was Morris. Born in England, and brought 
as a child to Philadelphia, he made his own way by 
sheer force of intelligence, without the help of a single 
outstretched hand. At thirteen, he was sweeping the 
floors of a counting-house ; at thirty, he was a partner 
in the great mercantile firm of the Willings, and begin- 
ning to take an active part in the keen interests and 
anxieties of public life. Rich, hospitable, popular, with 
a sound understanding and a complication-proof mind. 


he gave to the Continental Congress, during the three 
years in which he sat as delegate, such efficient aid that 
every emergency added to the burdens that he bore. 
His personal credit was vast, his generosity knew no 
bounds, his readiness of resource found a way to extri- 
cate his allies from every fresh dilemma. He it was 
who furnished Washington with artillery and ammuni- 
tion when the treasury was exhausted. He it was who 
borrowed on his own promissory notes over a million of 
dollars, with which to buy necessary food and clothing 
for the army at the most critical period of the war. He 
it was who struggled, almost single-handed, for the 
restoration of specie, and the re establishment of our 
public credit. There is the ring of prophetic wisdom in 
his speeches, deploring earnestly as he did the uneasy 
fluctuations of a government torn by conflicting inter- 
ests, and "changing its measures by the breath of 

When the return of peace gave us leisure to under- 
stand our desperate condition; when the Continental 
currency had ceased to circulate, and there was no hard 
money to take its place ; when the public coffers were 
empty, and the interest on the public debts unpaid, 
— then Congress turned to Morris as the only man 
who could be of any help in times so sadly out of 
joint. The eminently undesirable post of Superinten- 
dent of Finances was offered to him ; and, with unflinch- 
ing courage, he set about the difficult labour of bringing 


order out of chaos. Face to face with bankruptcy 
and ruin, he went steadily to his appointed task, sparing 
neither himself nor his fortune, begrudging no toil and 
no sacrifice in his country's cause. The arduous nature 
of his duties, and the heavy responsibilities they in- 
volved, broke down his health in three years, so that he 
was unable to continue in office ; but the work which 
that great financier, Alexander Hamilton, brought to 
a successful issue, was begun by Robert Morris and 
his able assistant, Gouverneur Morris, — founder of our 
system of national coinage, — when they strove to re- 
store to the States some measure of prosperity and 

Pennsylvania recognized the obligation which rested 
upon her to indemnify the Penns for the loss of their 
quit-rents, and of the proprietary lands which had been 
confiscated during the Revolutionary war. It was im- 
possible, or at least it was impracticable, to fully com- 
pensate them for such vast estates. Indeed, the modest 
sum of one hundred and thirty thousand pounds which 
the Assembly voted for this purpose, did not cover more 
than a tenth of their forfeiture. But the manors and 
some property of no great value, which had been settled 
on the children of the Founder, remained in the posses- 
sion of his great-grandsons, and the English govern- 
ment granted them annuities amounting to four thousand 
pounds. Mr. Sydney Fisher tells us that, down to the 
present day, rents from the most closely populated parts 


of Philadelphia go over the sea to the descendants of 
William Penn, who have no other connection with, no 
other interest in, the city of his heart and hopes. 

There is little doubt that after Congress had been 
frightened away by the riotous soldiery, taking refuge 
in Princeton before migrating to New York, Philadel- 
phia returned in some measure to her old sobriety and 
decorum. It is true that the spirit of reckless specula- 
tion still ran wild, and that many of her citizens had 
not yet exhausted the delights of living beyond their 
means. General Lee, as we know, described her as a 
place of amusement and debauch, by which he probably 
had in mind the poor little " Academy of Polite Science," 
with its " moral dialogues," and transparencies. " No 
other city," says Mr. MacMaster, " was so rich, so extrav- 
agant, so fashionable." On the other hand, it is plain 
that foreigners thought her amazingly discreet, and 
sometimes just a trifle dull. The Chevalier de Beau- 
jour, for example, found little to amuse him in her 
boasted gayety, little to please him in her boasted 
charms. " Philadelphia," he wrote, " is cut, like a chess- 
board, at right angles. All the streets and houses re- 
semble each other, and nothing is so gloomy as this 
uniformity, unless it be the sadness of the inhabitants, 
the greater part of whom are of Quaker or Puritan 

Brissot de Warville, who came over the seas — like 
so many modern French journalists^ — with the avowed 


intention of collecting " copy," considered Philadelphia 
to be altogether admirable, but very far from gay. *' The 
men are grave," he said, " the women serious. There 
are no finical airs to be found here, no libertine wives, 
no coffee-houses, no agreeable walks." This is carry- 
ing criticism too far. Coffee-houses there were, and 
walks in plenty, agreeable enough, though not pro- 
foundly interesting to the eager young Frenchman who, 
although disposed as Washington asserted, " to receive 
favourable impressions of America," was naturally de- 
pressed and daunted by its painful dissimilarity to 

Perhaps the truest verdicts are to be found a little 
nearer home. The vivacious Miss Franks, while sadly 
acknowledging that the women of New York were 
handsomer than the women of Philadelphia, sighed 
vainly in her exile for the freedom and ease, the wit 
and grace, which lent gayety to the drawing-rooms of 
the Chews, and Oswalds, and Aliens. Miss Vining, one 
of the most brilliant and admired of Philadelphia's 
daughters, admitted, in a letter to Governor Dickinson, 
that the town had grown strangely quiet since the flight 
of Congress ; but added proudly, " You know that here 
alone can be found a truly intellectual and refined 
society, such as one naturally expects in the capital of 
any country." 

In truth, the city was occupied with matters of such 
serious moment, that she might be pardoned for not 


always finding the leisure to be gay. The time had 
now arrived when, to quote Washington's very moderate 
language, success in arms had given the United States 
" the opportunity to become a respectable nation." The 
framing of a constitution was a supreme necessity, and 
in May, 1787, the delegates chosen for this Herculean 
task assembled in Philadelphia, and went immediately 
to work. Washington was elected to preside over the 
convention, which debated within closed doors for four 
months. Its meeting-place was the old State House ; 
and the hall which had first echoed the Declaration of 
Independence now rang with the earnest eloquence of 
men whose work it was to make this independence worth 
preserving, and upon the success of whose measures 
depended the future welfare of their land. The duty 
assigned them was the moulding of thirteen provinces, 
widely separated, sparsely peopled, wholly dissimilar, 
into a united and " respectable nation." It was fitting 
that the venerable walls which had witnessed the birth 
of liberty should lend their hallowed associations and 
traditions to the sincere efforts of inexperienced states- 
men, who strove to complete the work begun by their 
predecessors in 1776. 

By September the National Constitution, under which 
we now live, was framed, and submitted for ratification 
to the States, which, one by one, consented to adopt it, 
though never without a sharp struggle, and a bitter 
protest from the disaffected, — natural enough, when so 



many conflicting interests were forced into an uneasy 
alliance. Pennsylvania, having given her adherence 



with unwonted promptness, watched these struggles 
impatiently; and when ten out of the thirteen States 
had consented to the inevitable, Philadelphia prepared 


to celebrate their acquiescence with a grand Federal 
procession on the fourth of July, 1788. It was an in- 
dustrial rather than a military parade, the parent of 
many more to follow, and it could hardly have been a 
very gay or brilliant affair ; though in a lofty car — 
shaped like an eagle, and representing the triumphant 
Constitution — sat Judge Atlee, Judge Rush and Chief 
Justice McKean, clad in their official robes, and making 
up in splendour what they lacked in comfort and safety. 
All the trades and all the industries were amply repre- 
sented. Mr. Richard Willing, dressed as a farmer, 
guided a plough drawn by four oxen, — a pleasant sight 
to see, — and Mr. Charles Willing, in the character of a 
ploughboy, walked by the oxen's side. A ship of state 
riding proudly on a canvas sea, with a gallant crew, and 
four pretty little boys for midshipmen, was dragged 
through the streets on a float ; patriotic addresses were 
delivered without stint ; and an ode, admirable in senti- 
ment if not in execution, was written for the occasion 
by Francis Hopkinson, and attributed, on general prin- 
ciples, to Franklin. Copies of this ode were scattered 
among the crowd, and sent by carrier pigeons to different 
parts of Pennsylvania. The bells of Christ Church rang 
all day long, the ships along the river front were gayly 
decorated, bonfires blazed merrily at night, and a grand 
supper was eaten at Bush Hill in honour of the accepted 
Constitution. It was emphatically a celebration by the 
people, who understood clearly what they were celebrat- 


ing, and its most pleasing characteristic was sincerity. 
'' Every countenance," says a contemporary writer, 
" wore an air of dignity as well as of delight. Every 
tradesman's boy in the procession seemed to consider 
himself as a principle in the business." 

So keen was the general enthusiasm that the word 
"Federal," which stood for the party of success, 
became popular enough for universal misapplication. 
Federal stables were made ready for gentlemen's 
horses. Federal hats were sold in the shops, Federal 
punch was ladled out liberally in taverns, and an enter- 
prising dancing-master, quick to glean profit out of 
patriotism, secured many pupils by promising to teach 
a Federal minuet. Pennsylvania rightly considered 
that this was a favourable moment to rid herself of 
the cumbrous and bungling laws — the work of 
Rittenhouse and Franklin — under which she had 
struggled to live since 1776. The Anti-Constitution- 
alists, the party of moderation, now ruled the city and 
the State. The voices of such men as Benjamin Rush, 
John Cadwalader, Thomas Mifflin and Robert Morris 
were listened to with some degree of deference, and 
they united in urging the necessity for a more practical 
and reasonable form of local government. A conven- 
tion was summoned, and a new State Constitution, 
bearing a general resemblance to the National Con- 
stitution, was framed in 1790. Philadelphia was re- 
incorporated, and even her old armorial bearings were 



altered, and made emblematic of the progress and 
prosperity -which it was ardently hoped lay waiting 
for her grasp. 

On the thirtieth of April, 1789, Washington was 
inaugurated, and the United States possessed at last a 
settled government and a visible head. When the Presi- 
dent passed through Philadelphia, on his way to New 
York, he was received with joyous and disconcerting en- 
thusiasm. Triumphal arches were raised in the streets, 
the houses were hung with flags, soldiers and citizens 
accompanied him at every step, and young girls strewed 
flowers along his path. Perhaps the most severely try- 
ing moment of all was at Gray's Ferry, where a crown 
of laurel hung dangling from an arch, under which 
he was doomed to ride. A little boy, robed in white 
and garlanded with flowers, held a string attached 
to this laurel wreath, and, at the critical moment 
when the hero passed beneath, it was lowered precipi- 
tately "upon his brow," — he having presumably 
taken off his hat for its accommodation, — while the 
multitude shouted itself hoarse with deliglit. Such 
are the penalties of greatness, and the settled gravity 
of Washington's demeanour permitted no one to know 
how much or how little he suffered upon these occa- 
sions. He was at all times fully alive to the dignity 
of his position, and took an open interest in the con- 
troversy which raged so hotly anent a proper title 
for the President. Congress and the Senate were 


equally averse to granting him any ; but the sentiment 
of Philadelphia was strongly in favour of some good 
high-sounding phrase, and Chief Justice McKean 
urged "Serene Highness," as the most elegant and 
appropriate that could be chosen. Washington, it 
is said, fancied the title of the Stadtholder, — " High 
Mightiness," — and was deeply offended at General 
Muhlenberg for his wanton jest on the subject, when 
asked for a serious opinion. 

It was no easy task at this time to steer safely 
between the rival claims of aristocracy and democracy ; 
to satisfy at once the demands of what has been called 
" The Republican Court," and the demands of a most 
uncourtly public, which voiced its sentiments shrilly. 
John Adams had already been abused with fervour for 
using the obnoxious word "well-born," when speaking 
of certain prominent citizens. All men, he was re- 
minded, are equally well-born, and it was not for 
him to draw distinctions between classes. When 
Thomas Jeffereon returned from France, he had ac- 
quired a not unpardonable weakness for fine clothes, 
and appeared, so Mrs. Deborah Logan tells us, in "a 
suit of silk, ruffles, and an elegant topaz ring." This 
gave offence, and was held to be hardly consistent 
with republican simplicity; so he obligingly adopted a 
plainer costume, and was immediately and bitterly re- 
proached "with going to the other extreme, as a bait 
for popularity." People who served the public were 


beginning to realize how very hard the public was to 

The death of Benjamin Franklin in 1790 severed 
the last great link between colonial Philadelphia and 
the arrogant, uneasy city, struggling to adjust herself 
to new and necessary conditions. " For my personal 
ease," he wrote sadly to Washington during his long 
illness, "I should have died two years ago." To the 
very close of his life there was work for him to do, 
but his influence and popularity waned with his wan- 
ing powers. Mrs. Logan, who sincerely admired and 
reverenced him, and who was generous enough to 
forgive his wanton attack on the memory of that fine 
and faithful public servant, James Logan, tells us that 
even his preeminence could not escape depreciation 
amid the rush of new events, and the conflict of war- 
ring powers. 

" I have often thought," she writes, " that Dr. 
Franklin must have sensibly felt the difference be- 
tween the ^clat which he enjoyed in France, and the 
reception he met with upon his final return to his 
native country. The elements of two parties were 
then fermenting themselves into the form which they 
afterwards assumed. The mass of Pennsylvania was, 
as it has ever since been, decidedly democratic ; but 
there was a contrary spirit then dominant, and thinly 
diffused over the surface of society, which rejected 
the philosopher because it thought he was too much 


of that stamp. The first Constitution of our State 
after the Revolution, which was his work, though 
adopted by the great body of the people, was dis- 
liked;" — small wonder! — "and I well remember the 
remark of a Fool, though a fashionable party man, 
at the time, that it was by no means ' fashionable * 
to visit Franklin." 

And this in little Philadelphia, which had been 
patted and moulded into shape by his tireless intelli- 
gence and activity! It was not for her to play the 
part of critic where there was much to criticise, nor 
to reject too sharply that spirit of utility which, as 
Sainte-Beuve admits, was Franklin's measure for all 
things, and which, its work once finished, has no 
further message for the restless generations to come. 
The city he served should have even now a keener 
recollection of his services. The city he loved should 
have now a more generous affection for his name. 
When he died, she awoke, indeed, to a transient glow 
of gratitude and reverence. Twenty thousand people 
followed him to his grave in the yard of Christ 
Church, where the plain stone that bears the inscrip- 
tion, "Benjamin and Deborah Franklin. 1790." is 
visible to all who pass in the noisy street outside. 
The oration preached some time afterwards by Provost 
Smith was as laudatory and as emotional as those 
pronounced by Mirabeau before TAssembl^e Nationale, 
by Condorcet before I'Academie des Sciences, and by 



Fauchet before the Commune of Paris. Congress wore 
mourning badges for a month, the French Assembly 
for three whole days. What more could be asked in 
return for a lifetime of labour? What more could 



be given by the world to the memory of a man who 
had lived long enough to finish his work, and whose 
death at eighty-four left no tragic sense of incom- 
pleteness which could be recognized as a personal loss, 
and as such sincerely deplored? 



TTTITH the return of Congress to Philadelphia, a 
new life of fleeting gayety and extravagance 
came to the Quaker City. Robert Morris was held 
to be so largely responsible for this return, that the 
caricatures of the day represent him as carrying the 
congressmen and senators away from New York on 
his shoulders. Many of them were doubtless very 
unwilling to go, and deep are the murmurs which 
have come down to us in the letters of discontented 
officials at the cost of living in Philadelphia, and at 
the irritating complacency of Philadelphians. "The 
city is large and elegant," writes Oliver Wolcott to 
his wife, " but it did not strike me with the astonish- 
ment which the citizens predicted. Like the rest of 
mankind, they judge favourably of their own place 
of residence, and of themselves, and their representa- 
tions are to be admitted with some deduction." A 
few months later, he expresses an irritation natural 
enough in a man from whom too many complimen- 
tary speeches have been wrung. " The people of this 



State," he complains, "are very proud of their city, 
their wealth, and their supposed knowledge. I have 
seen many of their principal men, and discover noth- 
ing that tempts me to idolatry." 

As a rule, women loved Philadelphia, and the 
charm of its social life, and paid scant heed to the 
lamentations of their husbands or fathers. Mrs. 
Adams, indeed, found Bush Hill, which had no 
bush nor scrub upon it, a somewhat inconvenient and 
lonely neighbourhood, and vehemently objected to 
the high prices demanded for all things needful. 
" One would suppose," writes the Vice-President's 
very practical wife, " that the people thought Mex- 
ico before them, and fancied the Congress to be 
its possessors." Even Washington was not without 
concern at the general extravagance, at the heavy 
house-rent he was compelled to pay, and at the ever- 
increasing cost of hospitality. His letters at this time 
are studies in domestic economy. Apparently the cares 
of housekeeping were added to the cares of government, 
and there is a ring of anxiety in his minute directions 
anent the servants and their wages, in his determina- 
tion that the cook shall bake his cake, and that the 
butler shall not drink his wine, and in the complaint 
which has been so often echoed by less famous men : 
"It is unaccountable to me how other families, on 
twenty-five hundred or three thousand dollars a year, 
should be enabled to entertain more company, or at 



least entertain more frequently than I could do for 
twenty-five thousand." 

It does not appear that Mrs. Washington lifted 
these vexatious burdens from her husband's shoulders. 
We know that she was both dignified and affable in 
society, and that, being by nature fond of gayety, she 
never quite forgave Philadelphia for having robbed 
her of a ball in the gloomy autumn of 1775. We 
know also that she had her old family plate melted, 
and "reproduced in more elegant and harmonious 
forms," which would seem to indicate a lack of taste, 
common enough in the years which were to follow. 
But when there was need of new curtains for the 
windows, new caps for the footmen, or even a new 
mangle for the kitchen, the President was compelled, 
or thought himself compelled, to give orders concern- 
ing them; though the mangle — it was really a sec- 
ond-hand mangle bought from Mrs. Robert Morris — 
puzzled him sorely. *' I thi7ik that is what it is called," 
he writes to his secretary, Mr. Lear, who was trying to 
put the house in order; and refers him for further 
information to Mi-s. Morris, "who is a notable lady 
in family arrangements." 

Washington's formal receptions — and they were 
very formal — were held every second Tuesday, be- 
tween three and four in the afternoon, his dining-room 
being turned into a reception hall by the simple pro- 
cess of carrying out the chairs. There was true 


republican simplicity, dignified, reserved, austere, in 
the President's mode of life, and in his attitude 
towards the public. The ardours of a stump-speak- 
ing, hand-shaking, joke-perpetrating democracy had 
not then warmed the country into an easy brotherhood, 
and melted away the barriers between the head of a 
nation and its subjects. Washington loved his jest 
as well as lesser men. His private letters are full of 
jocularities, robust rather than fastidious ; and, like 
Pope and Byron, he was much in the habit of repeating 
his good things, word by word, to his different corre- 
spondents. But though he had probably never in his 
life read a line of Epictetus, — no man deplored more 
keenly than he the lack of early education, — he under- 
stood instinctively that " to move laughter by thy dis- 
course is a slippery descent into vulgarity, and always 
relaxes thy neighbour's respect." " His manner in 
public," says William Sullivan, " was invariably grave. 
It was sobriety that stopped short of sadness." Slow 
and rather cumbrous in his motions, and with an in- 
distinct utterance, — a blessed barrier to oratory, — he 
knew well how to mingle graciousness with dignity, so 
that none who were admitted to his presence ever felt 
arrogantly repelled, or wholly at their ease. 

It is wonderful how much can be accomplished by 
simple propriety of demeanour. The letters of both 
Americans and foreigners teem with animated and 
reverential descriptions of this republican ruler. Mr. 



Richard Rush assures us tliat when he stood on the 
steps of Congress Hall, every eye was fixed upon him 
"in mute, unutterable admiration. Not a word was 
heard, not a bieatli. Palpitations took the place of 
sounds." Mr. Henry Wansey, who crossed the seas 
to visit us in 1794, confesses he was overwhelmed 
with " awe and veneration " when permitted to break- 
fast with the President; though "two small plates 
of sliced tongue, dry toast, bread and butter," carried 
a painful sense of incompleteness to liis hearty Eng- 
lish appetite, and he lamented in a carnal spirit the 
absence of broiled fish. Mr. Thomas Twining, an 
Anglo-Indian, who spent the following winter in 
Philadelphia, never seems to know which he admires 
the most, — the conversation of Mr. John Adams, or 
the silence of Washington. He is rather taken back — 
being fresh from the splendours of India — to find 
the latter living in "a small brick house on High 
Street, next door to a hair-dresser " ; but he admits 
with delight that " the moment when Washington 
entered the room, and Mrs. Washington said *The 
President I ' made an impression on my mind which 
no subsequent years can efface." 

The equipage of our chief magistrate was more 
imposing than his modest mansion, which was not 
small, however, but the roomiest which could be 
found for him in the city. He drove abroad in a 
big cream-coloured coach, globular in shape, and or- 



namented in the French style with scantily draped 
cupids, and flowing wreaths of flowers. A tall German 
coachman, "possessing an aquiline nose," handled the 
reins, and the long-tailed Virginia bays were as beauti- 
ful as those which drew the virtuous Pamela to her 
wedding rites. The President walked about town 

^ ^ .:- 3:^ 



with no nervous apprehension of lowering his dignity, 
and was in the habit of strolling every day at noon 
to set his watch by Clark's standard at Front and 
High Streets, gravely saluting the porters who un- 
covered as he passed. 

According to Senator Maclay, the presidential din- 
ners were painfully solemn and serious affairs ; but 
Mrs. Washington's receptions appear to have given 


universal satisfaction. The ladies who attended were, 
we are told, " elegantly, if not superbly dressed." 
Mrs. Adams notes "the dazzling Mrs. Bingham and 
her sisters, the Misses Allen, the Misses Chew, and 
a constellation of beauties," among the ordinary 
guests. Miss Sally McKean, with sublime effrontery, 
writes, after the first of these entertainments, to a 
friend in New York, — poor New York, still smart- 
ing under a sense of loss: — "Tow never could have 
had such a drawing-room. It was brilliant beyond 
anything you can imagine. And though there was a 
great deal of extravagance, there was so much of 
Philadelphia taste in everything, that it must have 
been confessed the most delightful occasion of the 
kind ever known in this country." 

The gayety and charm of the Philadelphia women, 
their Paris gowns, and lively conversation, form the 
theme of universal comment. Mrs. Adams, indeed, 
though well pleased with so much friendly hospi- 
tality, seems a trifle bored by meeting " at all places 
nearly the same company." Her daughter admits 
that the women of Boston were more highly educated, 
but finds the Philadelphians easier in their manners, 
more gracious, and more desirous of pleasing. The 
Duke de Lauzun, the Marquis de Chastellux, and 
Count Rochambeau unite in praising both the young 
girls and the matrons, though wondering a little at 
their devotion to dress, and to the Paris fashions. 


The Abb^ Robin has the unkindness to say that, in 
the absence of parks and promenades, these fair 
daughters of Eve went to church, less to pray than 
to show their pretty frocks ; and Brissot, who was 
nothing if not serious, laments openly that this 
feminine weakness for finery extended itself to the 
Quaker women, who tried in many ways to escape 
from the rigid thraldom of the Society. " These 
youthful creatures," he writes, " whom nature has 
so well endowed, whose charms have so little need 
of art, wear the finest muslins and silks. Oriental 
luxury would not disdain the exquisite textures in 
which they take delight." " Ribbons," observes the 
astute Duke de la Rochefoucauld-Lian court, " please 
the young Quakeresses as well as others, and are the 
great enemies of the sect." Sometimes, indeed, the 
vanities of the world proved too strong for early 
principles, and fair apostates, like Mrs. Madison, cast 
off the yoke with whole-hearted impetuosity, striv- 
ing to compensate themselves for the enforced seclu- 
sion of girlhood by indulging in every gayety and 

Frivolity was the order of the day. In vain 
would-be economists expressed with Oliver Wolcott 
a reasonable hope that '' the example of the President 
and his family will render parade and expense im- 
proper and disreputable." No such pleasing result 
ensued. In vain the more conservative Friends pro- 


tested loudly against sinful luxury, and a prominent 
member of the Society refused to enter the house of 
an acquaintance, because a carpet was spread upon 
the hall. " Better," he said, " to clothe the poor than 
to clothe the earth." Reproaches were unheeded, and 
the careless city waxed mors and more extravagant 
as the merry months ran on. If husbands and 
fathers looked grave, feeling, as they must have 
felt, the unsoundness of this apparent prosperity, 
wives and daughters listened to no forebodings, but 
made hay blithely while still the warm sun shone. 
Of the amusements they loved, and of the admira- 
tion they excited, none of them seem ever to have 
wearied. " The young women of Philadelphia," 
writes the Duke de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, "are 
accomplished in different degrees, but beauty is com- 
mon to all. They lack the ease and grace of French 
women, but they are charming, and have singularly 
brilliant complexions." 

The acknowledged leader in all the gayeties of these 
unwontedly gay winters was Mi-s. William Bingham, 
of whom we hear so much in contemporary records. 
Beautiful, rich, pleasure-loving, gentle in speech and 
liglit of heart, she lent a vivacity of her own to the 
limited society of a little city, where, as Mrs. Adams 
said, the same people met each other day after day, 
and night after night. Up the broad marble stairway, 
which we are told gave " a truly Roman elegance " to 




her spacious home, thronged the Willings, the Byrds, 
the Powels, the Shippens, the McCalls, the Blackwells, 
the Cadwaladers, the Chews and Oswalds, many of 
whom were — in true Philadelphia fashion — cousins, 
first, second, or third, of their hostess, and of whom 
we can only trust she did not weary in these some- 
what monoto- 

nous entertain- 
ments. Mrs. 
^^^ Robert Morris 

lir^^Sllil^mlilil ^^^ enjoyed a 
Stf'il r" JillSSlIif distinguished 

position, upheld 
by her husband's 
great wealth, his 
important ser- 
vices to the 
country, and his 
splendid hospi- 
tality which 
knew no limit 
Washington, whose own household was 



nor restraint. 

conducted simply and abstemiously, notes again and 
again in his diary the elegance of the dinners at 
which he was a guest. Indeed, his constant presence 
on these occasions shows how rigidly he performed 
the very fatiguing social duties which he deemed his 
demanded. Nor were the privileges of any class 


of people ignored. In 1792 the Dancing Assembly 
gave a giaml ball in honour of his birthday. A 
society which called itself the New Dancing Assem- 
bly, and which was largely composed of tradespeople 
excluded from the older association, determined to 
celebrate the anniversary in the same fashion. The 
President attended the two balls, remained for the 
same space of time at each, and at each proposed 
the same toast, — "The State of Pennsylvania." 

In curious contrast to the brilliancy of Philadelphia's 
social life, to which the constant presence of foreigners 
like Chateaubriand, the Viscount de Noailles, M. Talley- 
rand and the Duke de la Rochefoucauld lent interest 
and distinction, were the crudeness of her literary and 
artistic developments, the badness of her roads, — al- 
ways a test of civilization, — and the unutterable dis- 
comfort of travel. Men, indeed, still read the robust 
English classics of the eighteenth century, and occasion- 
ally a woman who, like Elizabeth Drinker, possessed 
both leisure and intelligence, confessed to an acquaint- 
ance with Fielding. But scholarship was on the wane, 
carrying with it all real appreciation of letters; and 
with the exception of Charles Brockden Brown, whose 
novels are still sometimes talked about though seldom 
read, the prose and verse of literary Philadelphians 
were for many years equally and strikingly inade- 
quate. Only in correspondence, and in diaries not 
meant for publication, do we discern that intelli- 


gence and acumen which promised possibilities for the 

Portrait painting was exceedingly fashionable in all 
American cities, and Washington set an admirable 
example by being painted over and over again, — as 
often, though not so well, as that least vain of mon- 
archs, Philip IV. of Spain. Pennsylvania sent Ben- 
jamin West to England, where, like Mrs. Jarley, he 
became the delight of the royal family, the nobility, and 
gentry. Naturally he stayed amid these powerful pa- 
trons; but in his place came Robert Pine, Gilbert 
Stuart of Rhode Island, John Trumbull of Connecti- 
cut, and afterwards, Thomas Sully, who crossed the 
sea when a child of nine, and spent most of his life 
in Philadelphia. Charles Wilson Peale was born, like 
West, in Pennsylvania. He expressed his reverence for 
art by naming his six children Raphael, Rembrandt, 
Vandyke, Titian, Rubens, and Angelica Kaufmann. It 
is pleasant to record that two, at least, out of the six 
acted on their father's suggestion, and followed in 
his footsteps. Peale and his fellow artists were kept 
hard at work painting Philadelphia's judges and doc- 
tors, her rich merchants, her politicians, and, above all, 
her handsome daughters, as lavish apparently with their 
charms as were their English great-grandmothers in the 
gay days of the second Charles. 

Yet was the Quaker City deeply imbued with her own 
conceptions of propriety, and not without her own stand-. 




ard of taste. Her women might unveil their bosoms to 
the careless eyes of men ; but when the English painter, 
Pine, brought over the ocean a plaster cast of the Venus 
de Medici, he was not permitted to keep it in his 
studio where it could be generally 
seen. The bronze statue of a nymph 
holding a swan upon her shoul- 
der, which is now in the oldest 
corner of Fairmount Park, 
was originally carved in wood 
by Rush, and placed in Centre 
Square. But though amply 
and even prodigally draped, 
the poor thing's clinging pet- 
ticoats shocked public «. 
modesty, and she was * . 
loudly denounced 
as indecorous, and *•- 
unfit for the open 
street. Twenty years 
later, the infant Acad- 
emy of the Fine Arts 
imported a number of '^^ 

casts, copies of the famous statues in the Louvre ; and 
so great was the disedification which they gave that 
the managers were obliged to set apart one day in the 
week for female visitors, when the nude figures were 
swathed from head to feet in muslin sheets. 




As for the difficulties of travel, they mattered lit- 
tle to people who habitually stayed at home. In the 
early days, when the city was still in her innocent 
childhood, she sought no easy communication with 
distant towns. Adventurous spirits from time to 
time gratified a thirst for novelty, or were summoned 
to neighbouring provinces by the urgent cares of 
business. Mrs. Joseph Shippen journeyed on horse- 
back from Boston to Philadelphia in 1702, with her 
young baby lying in her lap, and the lodestar which 
drew her along this weary way was the desire to see 
again her family and her friends. The first coach 
that ran between Philadelphia and New York was 
started in 1756, and took three whole days to make 
the trip. When a swifter conveyance covered the 
distance in two days, it was boastfully christened the 
Flying Machine, and twenty shillings were demanded 
for a seat. By 1789 this time had been greatly re- 
duced; and the Rev. Jeremy Belknap, author of the 
" History of New Hampshire," gives us an animated 
account of travelling from New York to Philadelphia 
in the "New Flying Diligence," which outsped all 
competitors. "Between three and four in the morn- 
ing," he writes, "we set off in the stage, rode nine 
miles to Bergen Neck, and then crossed a ferry which 
brought us to Woodbridge. Just before we reached 
the second ferry we perceived the dawn of day, and, 
when we were two miles from it, the sun rose, so that 


we had ridden sixteen miles and crossed two ferries 
before sunrise, besides shifting horses twice. The 
third stage brought us to Brunswick, where we break- 
fasted. We here crossed the Raritan in a scow, open 
at both ends to receive and discharge the carriage with- 
out unharnessing or dismounting, and the scow was 
pulled across the river by a rope. We passed through 
Princeton about noon, and got to Trenton to dinner ; 
then passed the Delaware in another scow which was 
navigated only by setting poles ; drove thirty miles 
over a plain, level country at a great rate, and arrived 
in Philadelphia at sunset." 

Brissot, who made this pleasant trip a few years later, 
describes the diligence as " a kind of open wagon, hung 
with double curtains of leather and wool " ; in which 
jolting vehicle, he perceived the principle of equality 
to be well maintained. "The member of Congress 
rides in fraternal fashion beside the shoemaker who 
elected him." 

Other cities, however, were less easy of access than 
New York. Mr. Thomas Twining, who desired to go 
from Philadelphia to Baltimore in 1795, found that 
the only public conveyance was the mail wagon, 
which, for the accommodation of travellei-s, held four 
rough benches, without hacks. Under these benches 
the luggage was stowed, so that the wretched passen- 
gers, aching all over, and unable to gain a minute's 
rest, could not even thrust their feet a little way before 

294 philad:elpbia 

them. Heavy leather curtains were kept fastened 
down the whole time, and no glimpse of the surrounding 
country afforded a minute's distraction or relief. The 
roads were uncompromisingly bad, and the wagon 
jolted heavily over ruts and stones. Two entire days 
were passed in this misery. At the midway inn where 
the voyagers spent the night, they were all packed into 
a single garret room, called up the second morning 
at two-thirty a.m., and sent off breakfastless at three. 
Mr. Twining appears to have been the most amiable 
Englishman who ever visited our shores. He praises 
everything in Philadelphia, from his very select board- 
ing-house — "a private house for the reception of mem- 
bers of Congress" — to "the most esteemed article of 
an American breakfast," buckwheat cakes. Even the 
monotonous sameness of the streets, he considers per- 
plexing rather than disagreeable. But the two days 
in the mail wagon strained even his good-humour, 
and he mildly insinuates in his diary that a leather 
strap, on which passengers could rest their backs, would 
be neither difficult nor expensive to adjust, and would 
add immeasurably to the comfort of travellers. It 
seems a moderate demand. 




rpHE French Revolution, which followed so swiftly 
upon our own, was watched in the United States 
with a breathless interest, in no wise lessened by the 
difficulty of obtaining news. Excitement, which is now 
alternately awakened and allayed by daily cablegrams, 
each contradicting the message of the previous morning, 
then burned with a steady intensity. The birth of the 
French Republic was hailed with joy, and its baptism in 
blood was passed over as lightly as such unpleasant de- 
tails would permit. The gi-atitude which our country 
felt for the assistance France had given us in our 
sorest need, disposed the mass of people to forgive her 



the excesses which were committed across so many 
miles of ocean. Distance softens the direst horrors, 
and enables us to endure with tranquillity, evils too 
ghastly for a near acquaintance. The death of King 
Louis sent, indeed, a thrill of shame and sorrow through 
thousands of hearts that had not wholly forgotten his 
ancient friendship for the colonies, nor the times when 
his birthday was kept as a civic festival. But this tem- 
porary revulsion of feeling was, in turn, overcome by a 
sudden and keen enthusiasm when it was generally 
known that the young Republic, as brave as it was 
cruel, had declared war against England and Spain, 
and that Citizen Genet was on his way to the United 
States to demand succour and support. 

The satisfaction, it must be admitted, was confined 
wholly to the people. The President and the Congress 
felt nothing but doubt, perplexity and chagrin. Genet 
landed at Charleston, and consumed four weeks in get- 
ting to Philadelphia. His journey was like a royal 
progress, impeded at every step by public and flattering 
ovations, well calculated to turn a stronger head. By 
the time he reached his destination, he was naturally 
convinced of his own supreme importance, and the 
reception given him by the city served to increase rather 
than to lessen this delusion. His coming was heralded 
by the French frigate, V Ambuscade^ which, on the second 
of May, sailed up the river, and anchored at the Market 
Street wharf, amid the wild acclamations of the crowd. 



She was a self-assertive frigate, leaving no one in doubt 
of her intentions. A liberty cap adorned her foremast, 
from which floated a pennon, inscribed, " Enemies of 
equality, reform or tremble ! " Her mainmast bore a 
similar legend: "Freemen, we are your friends and 
brothel's ; " and her mizzenmast proclaimed to the world : 
'^ We are armed to defend the rights of men." She fired 
a salute of fifteen guns, and was answered rapturously 
from the shore, while the bells of Christ Church pealed 
out their shrill and joyous welcome, and the throngs 
along the river front shouted their hoarse delight. 

Two weeks later. Genet arrived, and was met at 
Gray's Ferry by a vast concourse of townspeople who 
brought him triumphantly into the city, presented him 
with a glowing address, and prepared a grand banquet 
for him at Oeller's Tavern. Among his ardent friends 
and partisans were Citizens Dallas, Rittenhouse, Dupon- 
geau, Charles Biddle, Thomas Mifftin and Thomas Jef- 
ferson ; for it is to be observed that " citizen " was 
now considered the only title fit for a son of freedom. 
Mr. Smith and Mr. Brown became Citizen Smith and 
Citizen Brown, and felt themselves much altered and 
purified by the transformation. 

At the tavern dinner, vast enthusiasm was displayed. 
DuponQeau read a French ode, which might have been 
better enjoyed if it had been more generally under- 
stood. The Marseillaise was sung with fervour, and 
Genet treated the company to a "truly patriotic and 


Republican song," which Mr. MacMaster quotes entire, 
but of which one verse will suffice to show the merits. 

" Should France from her lofty station, 

From the throne of fair Freedom be hurled, 
*Tis done with every other nation, 
And Liberty's lost to the world." 

After this poetic outburst, the bonnet rouge was 
solemnly placed upon the head of every guest, beginning 
with the French minister, who was probably the only 
man to feel at ease during the ceremony. 

In sharp contrast to all this popular excitation was 
the cold reception given by Washington to the unwel- 
come representative of the new Republic. Genet, who 
was already deeply angered by the proclamation of 
neutrality, felt himself outraged by the President's for- 
mal words and chilling demeanour, to say nothing of 
the medallion of Louis XVI. which he perceived upon 
the wall of the drawing-room, and which he resented as 
an "insult" to his nation. His demand for the two 
millions which the United States still owed to France 
was not unreasonable, for the money was sorely needed ; 
but Hamilton reported the treasury to be empty, — its 
chronic state, — and declared that to anticipate the date 
fixed for the payment of the debt, which could only be 
done by an act of Congress, would be to violate the 
treaty of neutrality. As for the "fraternal compact" 
which the envoy hoped to establish between the two 
countries, nothing could have been less desired by the 

Tiro FOliMS OF FEVER 299 

President, the Congress, the shipping merchants, whose 
trade with England was at stake, or the conservative 
citizens who mistrusted, not without reason, the methods 
and morals of our proposed ally. 

On the other hand, the mass of the people were eager 
to support France in her tremendous struggle, and to 
them Genet made an open appeal for sympathy. The 
populace, as he knew, had ruled Paris, and, through 
Paris, Fmnce. Why should not the same power be 
absolute in the United States ? Moreover, he had the 
sanction of the National Gazette^ the organ of the ex- 
treme Republicans, and the mouthpiece of Mr. Jefferson, 
which habitually censured Washington and the admin- 
istration, and spoke with fervid scorn of " Mr. Hamilton's 
myrmidons," by which it meant all holders of bank-stock 
or government bonds. To the people accordingly — 
sacred depositaries of wisdom and understanding — 
the French minister turned for aid ; and they responded 
with a cordial vehemence as pleasing as it was profitless. 
Ilevolutionary societies, in imitation of the Jacobin clubs, 
were founded in Philadelphia. Bands of Genatines, as 
they were called, paraded the streets, singing "(7a ira^^^ 
when sober citizens were in bed, and swearing that tlie 
United States should be forced to fight Great Britain. 
" Ten thousand men," wrote John Adams, who was 
seriously alarmed at the crisis, " were in the streets of 
Philadelphia day after day, threatening to drag Wash 
ington out of his house, and effect a revolution in the 


government, or compel it to declare in favour of the 
French, and against England." 

To give our Quaker town a still more lively resem- 
blance to unshackled Paris, women and children took 
part in these feverish demonstrations. Young people 
of both sexes thronged the highways, all wearing tri- 
coloured cockades, and singing the Marseillaise, or that 
lurid chant, 

" Dansons la Carmagnole, 
Vive le son, vive le son, 
Dansons la Carmagnole, 
Vive le son du canon ! " 

without having any very clear conception, owing to the 
general ignorance of French, of just what the words 
implied. In Girard Street, then an open square, un- 
adorned by the spacious old houses and quiet gardens 
which made it for years one of the most respectable of 
thoroughfares, a liberty pole was erected, surmounted by 
the bonnet rouge ; and around it danced, hand in hand, 
boys of twelve and decent grey-haired men, all shrieking 
revolutionary songs, and all mad with the fierce excite- 
ment of the hour. Even the better class of citizens who 
favoured the cause of France were not restrained by 
taste or judgment from acts of coarse brutality. At a 
dinner presided over by Governor Mifflin, a roast pig 
was brought in to personate King Louis, and its head, 
severed from its body, was carried around the table, 
amid triumphant jeers, and cries of " Tyrant ! Tyrant ! " 


A Philadelphia tavern was suffered to display upon its 
sign-board a revolting picture of the bloody and mutilated 
cori)se of Marie Antoinette. What wonder that Genet, 
reminded at every turn of Paris and its familiar delights, 
should have deemed his cause secure ? What wonder 
that he grew bolder and bolder in his support of the 
French privateers, and more and more insolent in his 
tone towards the President and the administration? 
How could he suppose that this fever would fade away 
as swiftly and as unreasonably as it had come? A 
few more public dinners, a few more speeches, a few 
more songs and experiments with the bonnet rouge^ — 
and even his friends wearied somewhat of the cause. 
Washington, who was at no time long-suffering where 
the dignity of his position was at stake, demanded and 
obtained the recall of a minister who had violated every 
principle of diplomacy. His successor, Citizen Fauchet, 
arrived in February, 1794 ; but by that time the Reign 
of Terror was nearing its end. Genet lingered in the 
United States until summer, and then the death of 
Robespierre convinced him that France was no longer 
a safe abode for too ardent Jacobins. He decided to 
remain where he could be sure of keeping his head upon 
his shoulders ; and, selecting a home in New York, he 
made many friends, and won for himself two American 
wives before he died in 1834. 

Even while the revolutionary craze was at its 
height, French Emigres, fleeing from the embraces of 


the guillotine, found a hospitable retreat in Philadel- 
phia, bringing with them gayety and grace which 
lent their very poverty an air of distinction, and made 
it seem a different thing from the sordid narrowness, 
the troubled reticence of Anglo-Saxon penury. When, 
a few years later, Louis Philippe sought shelter in the 
same quiet haven, he lived in a single room over a 
barber's shop. Here he gave one night a little dinner 
to some very distinguished guests, and apologized with 
serene good-humour for seating half of his visitors on 
his bed. "I have myself been in much less comfort- 
able places," he said cheerfully, "and without the 
consolation of agreeable company." 

In August, 1793, Philadelphia's enthusiasms and 
animosities, her joys and follies, were stifled into one 
common fear by the breaking out of the yellow fever. 
Amid the terrible scenes that ensued no one had 
leisure to cherish hysterical sentiment ; no one remem- 
bered to say " Citizen Brown " or " Citess Robinson " ; 
no one cared whether France was a republic, a mon- 
archy, or an empire. There was an end to all caper- 
ing about liberty poles, for Death was dancing grimly 
in the desolate streets, and he shared his merriment 
with none. Through the whole summer the disease 
had been raging in the West Indies, and vessels from 
the infected ports, being permitted to enter the city's 
docks without inspection or quarantine, brought the 
contagion swiftly to our doors. Its first stealthy 


advances awakened little notice. A few stevedores, 
a sailor or two, died, and no one knew what ailed 
them. More sickened, and suddenly, without further 
warning, without pause for mere suspicion or uncer- 
tainty, the terrified city realized that she was in the 
grasp of the pestilence. On the twenty -first of August, 
Dr. Benjamin Rush writes the first of a long and deeply 
interesting series of letters to his absent wife. A 
malignant fever, he says, has broken out on the river 
front. Already he has been called on to treat a dozen 
patients, and three of them are dead. Two days later, 
Elizabeth Drinker notes with characteristic brevity in 
her diary : " A fever prevails in ye City, particularly 
on Water St., between Race and Arch Sts., of ye 
malignant kind; numbei*s have died of it." 

From this time until the coming of the first keen 
frosts of November^ the story of Philadelphia is like 
the oft-repeated story of the Plague. The fever swept 
as a whirlwind through Water Street, leaving none but 
dead behind it, and spread with horrible speed into 
every quarter of the town. In the panic that ensued, 
there was a mad rush for the safety of the open fields 
and the adjacent towns. Seventeen thousand people 
fled within a month. The mayor, Matthew Clarkson, 
stood stoutly at his post, and, with the help of a com- 
mittee chiefly composed of Quakers, organized meas- 
ures of relief, — measures which were necessarily 
inadequate, though they alleviated the untold misery 



of the poor. People burned tar in the streets, and 
carried sprigs of wormwood, — pitiful, impotent little 
remedies, by which they hoped to stay the relentless 
hand of death. The corpses were buried quietly at 
night, as in plague-stricken London ; and through the 

: I 



scattered suburbs of the city, men and women, unable 
to secure the services of undertakers, dug lonely gi'aves 
in fields and woods, and laid their lost to rest. Eliza- 
beth Drinker's diary is filled with horrors that affect 
us all the more powerfully because, Quaker-like, she 
allows herself no license in narrating them. In that 


vain frenzy of selfishness which stifles pity, those who 
were yet untainted thrust their sick and dying into the 
streets, or tied themselves from the squalid rooms where 
Death was busy with his work. Amid so much bru- 
tality, so much callous indifference to ties of kinship 
and affection, it is touching to read of the poor sailor, 
haggard and heartbroken, who stopped Dr. Rush in 
the street, and offered him twenty pounds — a sailor's 
fortune — if he would pay but a single visit to his 
infected wife. 

Indeed, painful as are the details which Dr. Rush 
is necessarily forced to relate, his letters breathe such 
steadfastness of purpose, such fortitude, such un- 
broken, unostentatious heroism, that they invigorate 
rather than depress the reader. " I enjoy good health 
and uncommon tranquillity of mind," he writes in 
the beginning of this terrible season ; and when, two 
months later, his health is shattered by repeated at- 
tacks of the fever, his tranquillity is still unmarred. 
Never once does the absent wife stoop to beg her hus- 
band to consider his own safety ; never once does the 
physician remeniber with a selfish pang that every 
risk he runs jeopardizes the welfare of his family. 
The path of duty is so clearly and sharply defined 
that there is no room in either heart for the consid- 
ei-ation of side issues. 

In justice to human nature, however, it must be 
admitted that in this case duty received a splendid 


stimulus from professional pride and professional 
hostility. Dr. Rush discovered a remedy for the 
fever, which he firmly believed and asserted to be in- 
fallible, if taken in time. He bled his patients as 
freely as though he had been a sixteenth century 
practitioner, and he dosed them with jalap and mer- 
cury instead of the quinine usually prescribed. The 
majority of Philadelphia's doctors repudiated this 
treatment, and the battle that raged around the bed- 
sides of the sick and dying lent zest to the physi- 
cians' perilous labours. They risked their lives hourly, 
but they had the honour of science as well as the 
good of humanity to sustain them. 

Dr. Rush's sentiments are never a matter for doubt. 
On the thirteenth of September he writes : " Yester- 
day was a day of triumph to mercury, jalap, and 
bleeding. I am satisfied that they saved in my hands 
nearly one hundred lives. . . . Scores are daily sac- 
rificed to bark and wine.'* As the feve^ grew more 
deadly, the contest deepened and darkened. "The 
physicians murder by rule," he writes on September 
21st. " Nor is this all ; they have confederated against 
me in the most cruel manner, and are propagating 
calumnies against me in every part of the city. . . . 
Never before did I witness such a mass of ignorance 
and wickedness as our profession has exhibited in the 
course of the present calamity." 

Life is not wholly a burden to any man who cher- 


ishes such liearty antagonism as this, and it is plain 
that wrath was a most excellent tonic to the good 
doctor, and helped him materially to face the daily 
perils that beset him. The city, he admits, was a 
mass of contagion. The tainted air was loaded with 
foul and nauseating odours. He himself was as deeply 
poisoned as Rappaccini's daughter, and believed that, 
like the maid, he was safe from all further infection. 
**I ascribe my freedom from fatigue and my sleepless 
nights wholly to the stimulus of the contagion in my 
system," he writes; "for I am so full of it that it 
has now become part of myself. It is not dangerous 
unless excited into action by heat, cold, fatigue, or 
high living." 

This is the language of enthusiasm, and in this ex- 
alted frame of mind he battled to the end. When at 
last the cold weather checked the progress of the 
fever, it had counted nearly five thousand victims, a 
ghastly reckoning if we remember that the city, de- 
serted by all who could escape, held less than thirty 
thousand inhabitants during the greater part of these 
terrible months. When the pestilence was at its 
height, two hundred victims were buried in a single 
day ; and often the frightened Iiousewife, opening her 
door cautiously in the early morning, would see upon 
her step the swollen corpse of some abandoned creature 
who had crawled thither to perish, alone and unpitied, 
in the night. Ten physicians and ten clergymen — two 


of them Roman Catholic priests — died in the fulfil- 
ment of their duties; and to the brave and tranquil 
charity of the Quakers many stricken wretches owed 
their lives. 

The battle of the drugs, however, had not yet been 
fought to the close. It was renewed with much spirit 
and animosity when the yellow fever revisited Phila- 
delphia, in a less virulent form, during several suc- 
ceeding summers. Dr. Rush endured the attacks of 
his brother practitioners with what slender patience 
he could muster ; but when, in 1797, William Cobbett 
ridiculed him unmercifully in Peter Porcupine'' s Ga- 
zette^ and likened his treatment to that of Dr. San- 
grado, he promptly sued the Englishman for libel, 
and was granted damages to the extent of five thou- 
sand dollars. It was an enormous sum for those days; 
but the physician was beloved by the community he 
had served, and the journalist was unpopular, both as 
a foreigner, and as a satirist who habitually and un- 
wisely hurled his shafts at the idols of the populace. 
The verdict ruined him. His property was seized, and 
sold at a sacrifice. He returned to England, and from 
that day forth no man diverted himself at the expense 
of mercury and jalap. The pastime was held to be 
too costly. 

With the approach of winter, the coming back of 
the frightened exiles, and the comforting assurance 
that the fever was at an end, Philadelphia felt herself 


encouraged to take up once more, though in a modi- 
fied form, her interrupted sansculottism. She began 
by holding a modest meeting in the State House yard 
to protest against the seizure of American vessels by 
British cruisers, and to urge the government to extend 
to France every favour which " friendship can dictate, 
and justice can allow." This was the little end of 
the wedge, and was followed in a few weeks by a 
public parade, and a public dinner, at which Citizen 
Fauchet received the " fraternal embraces '* of his 
American sympathizers, *'amid the animated joy and 
acclamations of the whole company." The vestry of 
Christ Church was at the same time bidden to remove 
from the east front of the edifice an ancient medallion, 
containing a bas-relief of George II.; and though the 
order emanated only from that dubious authority, " the 
people," it was promptly and patiently obeyed. 

In early summer the city amused itself with a grand 
demonstration in honour of the French Republic. A 
statue of liberty was erected at Twelfth and Market 
Streets ; and, on an altar at its base, young girls strewed 
offerings of flowers, while an oration in French was 
pronounced, and fraternal embi-aces were exchanged. 
The crowd, delighted with the spectacle, sang the 
Marseillaise, danced the Carmagnole, made a bonfire 
of the English flag, and rapturously applauded the 
sentiment, "May tyrants never be withheld from the 
guillotine*8 closest embraces.** 

310 Philadelphia 

It seemed like a repetition of the mad folly which 
a year before had supported Citizen Genet's insolent 
assumption of authority, but there was this difference 
between the two situations. Then the rabid Republi- 
cans really hoped to force the administration into an 
alliance with France; now they knew that all such 
hopes were futile. They were at liberty to be as 
picturesquely and sentimentally Gallic as they pleased ; 
but while they were wearing tri-coloured cockades, and 
singing the Marseillaise in our once decorous Quaker 
streets, Chief Justice Jay was in England, negotiating 
a treaty in the interests of long-neglected commerce. 
It is true that this treaty was exceedingly hateful to 
the populace, which swore that the chief justice had 
sold his country to Great Britain, and which mani- 
fested its displeasure by burning his effigy at Kensing- 
ton, breaking the windows of the English consul 
and of Mr. William Bingham, and bitterly maligning 
the government. It is true that at a town meeting 
which was attended by Stephen Girard and a number 
of prominent men, a resolution was adopted, stating 
briefly and angrily that "the citizens of Philadelphia 
do not approve of the treaty between Lord Grenville 
and Mr. Jay." Yet Washington's serenity was undis- 
turbed. Perhaps he did not care whether the citizens 
of Philadelphia approved or disapproved. He had 
braved their displeasure before this, and they had vili- 
fied him — as he wrote to Mr. Jefferson — " in such 


exaggerated and indecent terms as could scarcely be 
applied to a Nero, a defaulter, or a common pick- 
pocket." Perhaps he was upheld by the knowledge 
that the merchants and shippers of the city were eager 
for their interrupted trade. The treaty was ratified on 
the eleventh of August, and the President listened 
unmoved to the echoes of the 
hostility it aroused. 

And indeed it was high 
time that the authority 
of the administration 
should be asserted and 
maintained. The Scotch-Irish 
whiskey distillers of Penn- 
sylvania had for years ignored 
or opposed the excise law, as 
a form of taxation of which 
they personally disapproved, 
and which they, in conse- jKFFKRsoN'd chair 

quence, resolutely declined 

to pay. Advice, expostulation, reasoning, had all 
been tried in vain. They responded by tiirring and 
feathering the collectors, and by threatening to burn 
Pittsburg, then a village of only twelve hundred 
inhabitants. A "second Sodom,** the pious insurgents 
called this straggling township, and declared them- 
selves ready to play the r61e of an avenging Provi- 
dence, and destroy it. It was not until tlio patience 


of the government had been exhausted, and an army 
of fifteen thousand men had been sent into Penn- 
sylvania, prepared to argue the matter "in platoons," 
that the distillers were convinced of their error, and 
realized that it was no longer their privilege to. obey 
or reject at discretion the laws of the United States. 
In Philadelphia, the same spirit of what was then 
termed liberty vented itself in reckless declamation, 
and in a lively sympathy for France, as the country 
which had assuredly presented to the world the most 
expansive theory of freedom. So exceedingly French 
had we become that Citizen Adet, who had in turn 
replaced Citizen Fauchet, requested the suppression 
of the town directory, because the English minister's 
name had been printed in it before his own, and the pub- 
lic supported him in this mild demand, with which the 
publishers stoutly declined to comply. Cobbett, who 
undertook to fight the battle of Great Britain in Peter 
Porcupine's Gazette^ was the object of a deeper hostil- 
ity than often falls to the lot of any one man, a relent- 
less hostility which seemed to give him genuine satis- 
faction until it proved his ruin. Even the repeated 
seizures of American vessels by French privateers, 
though it sorely damped our enthusiasm, could not 
altogether subdue it ; and Dr. George Logan, an ardent 
Republican and anti-Federalist, conceived the brilliant 
idea of going to France as a self-appointed "ambassador 
of the people," to obtain a redress of this grievance. 


His mission, which was generally understood though 
not openly acknowledged, aroused profound excite- 
ment in Philadelphia. Friends and followers sang 
his praises loudly ; conservative people asked them- 
selves what would be the result if private citizens 
should often undertake to settle their country's diffi- 
culties, without the authority of the administration; 
and hostile Federal newspapers made the most of 
the situation by pretending to believe he had gone to 
obtain the help of a foreign power, and that his object 
was the destruction of our government, and the es- 
tablishment of an American Reign of Terror. "Can 
any sensible man hesitate to suspect," piped the Phila- 
delphia Gazette, " that Dr. Logan's infernal design can 
be anything less than the introduction of a French army, 
to teach us the value of true and essential liberty by re- 
organizing our government through the blessed operation 
of the bayonet and the guillotine ? Let every American 
now gird on his sword. The demagogue has gone to 
the Directory for purposes of destruction to your lives, 
property, liberty, and holy religion." 

It was all deeply interesting, though the concluding 
chapters seem a little tame. Dr. Logan returned 
home without an army at his heels, and without hav- 
ing softened the hearts of the Directory. He was 
coldly received by Mr. Adams who did not approve 
of self-appointed envoys. The official representatives 
of the United States met, however, with no greater 


success ; and the aggressive attitude maintained by 
France made our unreciprocated admiration a trifle 
ridiculous, even in our own eyes. "Hail Columbia!" 
written by Hopkinson, and first sung in Philadel- 
phia on the twenty-fifth of April, 1798, took the 
public fancy by storm, and gradually supplanted the 
Marseillaise, although denounced by the extreme Re- 
publicans as an "Anglo-monarchical" anthem. Amid 
so many caren, interests, and anxieties of our own, it 
became impossible to fix our attention permanently upon 
the triumphant career of a foreign nation, especially 
upon a foreign nation which seized our ships, and 
paid no attention to our continued remonstrances. 
Philadelphia was on the eve of a great change which 
was to materially alter her history and her character. 
She had long been the most important city of the colo- 
nies, and of the United States. She had been the 
centre and the heart of our national life. She had 
been the lawgiver, both of Pennsylvania and of the 
Republic. She had been proud, gay, quarrelsome, and 
wantonly extravagant. She had well-nigh forgotten 
the lessons of her Founder. Now her honours were 
about to be wrested from her, one by one. In 1799 
the state Legislature was removed to Harrisburg, and 
Philadelphia, after a reign of one hundred and seven- 
teen years, was no longer the capital of her province. 
In 1800 the Federal government was carried to Wash- 
ington, and with it went political supremacy, and that 


social distinction which was then its closest ally, and 
which can never be wholly divorced from the centre 
of political power. 

The nation, too, was in a state of transition and 
restless anxiety. Adams had succeeded to the presi- 
dency, and in December, 1799, Washington died, 
lie was buried at Mount Vernon ; but Philadelphia, 
excited and sorrowful, decreed him funeral honours, 
dragged his empty bier through her streets, and lis- 
tened at night to a monody, delivered at her theatre 
to the accompaniment of solemn dirges. Tlie stage 
was decorated with a huge catafalque, bearing the 
hero's portrait encircled by an oak wreath. Above 
was an eagle weeping tears of blood, and, underneath, 
an inscription explaining with needless lucidity that 
these were the nation's tears. 

The diary of Elizabeth Drinker contains two long 
entries, the unwonted details of which clearly show 
that even tranquil Quaker households were deeply 
interested in these mournful commemoi-ations, in 
which — as Friends — they could not conscientiously 
take part, but which they were just as eager ivs other 
people to see. On the twenty-fifth of December, she 
writes: "There are to be great doings to-morrow by 
way of respect to George Washington ; a funeral 
procession, and an oration or eulogium to be de- 
livered by Henry Lee, a member of Congress from 
Virginia. The members of Congress are to wear 


deep mourning; the citizens generally are to wear 
crape around their arms for six months. Congress- 
hall is in mourning, and even the Play-house. There 
has been, and is like to be, much said and done on the 
occasion. I was sorry to hear of his death, and so are 
many others who make no show. Those forms, to 
be sure, are out of our way ; but many will join 
in ye form that cared little about him." 

On the twenty-seventh of December, she writes 
again : " The funeral procession in honour of ye late 
Commander-in-chief of the Armies of the United 
States, Lieut. Gen. Washington, yesterday took 
place. They assembled at the State-house, and went 
from thence in grand procession to ye Dutch church in 
Fourth Street, called Zion church, where Major Gen. 
Henry Lee delivered an oration to four thousand 
persons, or near that number, who were, 'tis said, 
within the church. Ye concourse of people in ye 
streets and at ye windows was very numerous. 
Nancy and Molly were at their sister Sally's, to 
gratify their curiosity. 

So all is over with G. Washington." 



j4aj ,.-J^^. 





rpHE history of Philadelphia for the first half of 
the present century does not make vivacious 
reading. She had turned her page, and the long 
story of her struggles, her triumphs, her pride of 
place, her political power, her reckless dissipation, 
was at an end. In its stead, we have a dismal nar- 
rative, full of such familiar phrases as " dull times," 
"hard winters," "stagnant trade," "great suffering 
among the poor," — all included in the inevitable re- 
action from a mad extravagance that had no sounder 
basis than speculation, and the allurements of an in- 
flated currency. The embargo act of 1807, which 



forbade vessels to set sail from the United States for 
any foreign port, put the finishing touch to the com- 
mercial ruin of a city which had covered the sea 
with her ships. The act may or may not have been 
annoying to the foreign ports which it was meant to 
injure; but the havoc it made at home was never a 
matter for doubt. Philadelphia drooped pitifully 
under this cruel hurt. " The grass grew on her 
wharves, the ships rotted in their moorings." Hungry, 
penniless sailors paraded the streets, and the sym- 
pathy of the people was strongly aroused for these 
poor mariners who were so childishly incapable of 
understanding the law which locked up their boats, 
and bade them starve in peace. Help there was 
none, however, and hundreds of them made their 
way to Nova Scotia, and, entering the English ser- 
vice, regained their sea under an alien flag. Des- 
perate efforts were made by ship-owners and captains 
to elude the embargo ; but Napoleon the ruthless 
ordered the seizure of all American vessels, without 
distinction or favour, cynically observing that, by the 
commands of their own government, they were for- 
bidden to sail, and that he was assisting the United 
States to maintain her admirable restrictions. 

The once prosperous Quaker City was now dull, de- 
jected, and heavy with many cares. All classes shared 
in the general anxiety; few men were ricli enough to 
help their poorer neighbours. Robert Morris, old, 


bankrupt, and brokenhearted, had seen his noble fort- 
une melt like mist, and his friends vanish away like 
floating mist-wreaths. His beautiful home, which never 
reached completion, was sold by the sheriff, and pulled 
down stone by stone ; his books and ornaments were 
bought by fellow-townsmen ; and he who had saved the 
honour of his country, who had fed and clothed her 
starved and ragged soldiers, who had deemed no labour 
too great, no gift too generous when the welfare of the 
Republic was at stake, was suffered to lie for four 
years in a debtor's prison, while the people he had 
served in their utmost need wagged their heads wisely, 
and talked pious platitudes about the Tower of Babel 
and inordinate ambition. Each summer the ravages of 
the yellow fever emptied the jail where Philadelphia's 
greatest citizen, forgotten or ignored, breathed the pes- 
tilential air, and waited patiently for the end. When 
at last he was set at liberty, that end was near at hand ; 
but that it did not find him still in durance was a 
matter for self-congratulation on the part of his coun- 
trymen. Something they felt was due in return for his 
services, and Robert Morris was permitted to die under 
a roof of his own, and in the arms of his wife. Wlio 
shall say that republics are ungrateful ! 

The refusal of Congress to re-charter the Bank of the 
United States in 1811, added another heavy load to the 
financial distress of Philadelphia. In vain her mer- 
chants, her manufacturers, her carpenters, and house- 


builders sent their deputations to plead for a new 
charter, and to lay their dire necessities before the 
House. Of what avail was the homely reasoning of 
mere business men and mechanics, when Henry Clay, 
master of rhetoric and flowing periods, denounced the 
towering pride of corporations, and scoffed at the utility 
of banks. So, on the eve of war, the city saw herself 
crippled and bound. France had swept away her ships. 
Congress had swept away her credit, and England stood 
ready to sweep away whatever might by any chance be 

In these sad times, the old fighting instinct came to 
the rescue of the commonwealth. " National happi- 
ness," says the peace-loving Deborah Logan, " was sus- 
pended by the war of 1812"; but this is a more than 
doubtful statement. National prosperity was, indeed, 
sorely crippled, and no town outside of New England 
was more cruelly impoverished than Philadelphia, 
where all the necessaries of life had grown alarmingly 
dear, and where the stagnation of commerce threatened 
absolute ruin. But with the declaration of war, of an un- 
popular, but not inglorious war, came the excitement of 
combat, pushing sordid anxieties into the background, 
and filling men's minds with other and wider cares. 
The city sent forth her sons to fight, and some of 
them, like Lieutenant Biddle of the Wdsp^ brought back 
honours to lay proudly at her feet. She fitted up pri- 
vateers, — her old diversion, — and she found. Heaven 


knows how! money for the government loan. The 
adventurous raid of Sir George Cockburn, who marched 
into Maryland with five hundred men, as with an in- 
vading army, and whom nobody took by the shoulders 
and turned out, thrilled her with wholesome shame. 
The capture of Washington aroused her to a sense of 
personal disgrace and pereonal danger. It even silenced 
for a time the quarrels of her contending factions, and 
sent every able-bodied man to drill at Camp Dupont, 
or to work at the defences which, being inadequate, 
were happily never needed. No citizen was permitted 
to shirk his manifest duty, the " State Cockade " wtis 
pinned upon every shoulder, and even the comfortable 
voice of conscience was unheeded in the din. Pious 
men, who could not endure the ungodly aspect of the 
camp, were requested to drill apart, and make up a 
corps of their own. 

By this time the French fever was permanently cured. 
Napoleon's scornful treatment had proved wonderfully 
elhcacious in healing the most desperate cases, and 
when the news of his downfall reached our shores, 
Philadelphia, exulting openly, set at once about the 
usual diimers, without which no public event could be 
properly commemorated. She toasted the Emperor 
Alexander and the King of Sweden ; she toasted Hol- 
land and Germany, amid wild acclamations of delight ; 
she toasted the " patriots " of Spain and Portugal. But 
England, whose great struggle with her great enemy 


was over at last, England, who had held together the 
allies, paid their soldiers, and fought their battles, re- 
ceived no notice at these civic banquets. Her part in 
the work was ignored, for she was still our foe, and the 
dawn of peace upon the continent gave her a breathing 
spell which could not fail to be disadvantageous to our 
cause. All things considered, it might have been bet- 
ter for us if Napoleon had engaged her attention a 
little longer. 

But on Christmas Eve, 1814, the treaty of Ghent was 
signed, and while General Jackson was fighting and 
winning the battle of New Orleans, word was coming 
slowly over the sea that the war was at an end, and that 
the United States were once more free to turn their 
attention to their own pressing needs. Philadelphia's 
share of needs was plainly manifest. The foreign com- 
merce, which had brought her prosperity for so many 
years, had received a check from which it never wholly 
recovered. Her shipping merchants, who had built up 
noble fortunes in the past, strove, but strove in vain, to 
regain their old ascendency. The opening of what was 
then called " the West " ; the network of canals, and 
afterwards of railways, which made transportation pos- 
sible and even easy, gave a tremendous impetus to New 
York, now reached as readily as her sister city, — New 
York proudly commanding her splendid harbour, and 
the natural outlet for our grains. We laugh when we 
read of the old Philadelphia newspapers gravely discuss- 


ing the relative merits of canals and railways, and com- 
ing to the serious conclusion that the latter were " inex- 
pedient " in Pennsylvania. Sleepy little town, we think, 
which at the same time rejected the introduction of gas, 
declaring it to be a public nuisance, unsafe, undesirable, 
and with an " intolerable smell." Yet it was a long 
time before the gas-pipes proved themselves blessings 
to the community ; and the immediate result of the 
railways was to make Philadelphia a half-way house to 
the great city of commerce. New York. 

" But Linden saw another sight," 

when, very slowly, there dawned on Pennsylvania the 
knowledge of the mineral wealth hidden beneath her 
bosom, and with it came a dim revelation of the vast 
industrialism of the future. The firat successful experi- 
ments with our own anthracite coal were made in Phila- 
delphia immediately after the declaration of peace, and 
its superiority over the Virginia coal in heating and 
rolling iron promised magnificent results, sure to be 
long in coming, but sure to come at last. One fifth of 
all gold or silver ore found in his province, had Penn 
promised to send back to England's king ; but here at 
length were the mines whose inexhaustible riches should 
fill the land with plenty. Four years later, we find Le- 
high coal offered for sale in Philadelphia, " in quantities 
not less tlian one ton," the price being eight dollars and 
forty cents. It was such a novelty, and people were at 


once so curious and so doubtful, that the clever agents 
kept what they called a " specimen fire " burning all 
day long at 172 Arch Street, that purchasers might 
see for themselves what an admirable fuel they were 

The year 1816 saw the second National Bank of the 
United States established in Philadelphia, a bank des- 
tined to be wrecked, like so many other institutions, 
by factious hostility and violence. Her mint — not the 
present marble pile with its Ionic- columns, but a modest 
predecessor — was coining plenty of copper cents, and 
a few silver dollars, then highly esteemed, and all 
too insufficient for the country's needs. The rapid in- 
crease in population, with its corresponding decrease of 
grace and virtue, industry and thrift, had made the 
feeding of the poor and the suppression of crime more 
difficult and more inefficacious every year. It is true 
that so many benevolent associations were at work 
starting soup kitchens and kindred charities in the 
Quaker City, that for a long time she was known as 
the " emporium of beggars," and idle vagabonds flocked 
from neighbouring states to enjoy her hospitality. Yet 
destitution on the one hand, and viciousness on the 
other, kept pace with her daily growth. The alms- 
house and the prison were equally crowded, and equally 
mismanaged. Philadelphia, says Mr. MacMaster, was 
attempting to control a population of a hundred thou- 
sand by the same primitive methods she had used sue- 



cessfully for twenty thousand. She had become a city, 
without ceasing to be a village. 

While things were in this uncomfortable period of 
transition, La Fayette came to the United States, and 
twice visited the town, " the great and beautiful town 

'^u. \ 


of Philadelphia," as he politely said, *' which first wel- 
comed me as a recruit, and now welcomes me as a vet- 
eran." Of the warmth of this welcome there was no 
shadow of doubt. What other man could have borne 
the weight of such sustained enthusiasm ! Six cream- 
coloured horses drew his carriage, and the First and 
Second City Troops escorted him proudly tli rough the 


thronged streets. He was dined, and wined, and pre- 
sented with unstinted addresses in French and English. 
The Free Masons, the Cincinnati, the school children, 
and all orders, societies, and bodies of citizens generally 
waited upon him, and were received with indefatigable 
courtesy. He amiably permitted himself to be taken 
to all the city's sights, from the penitentiary and the 
new waterworks at Fairmount, to Vauxhall Garden, 
where a band of little boys and girls met him with 
lighted torches, and surrounded him as a guard of 
honour while he listened to the music, or stared at the 
appropriate fireworks. 

Philadelphia always delighted to show reverence 
to her distinguished guests. Kosciuszko, for whom 
" Freedom shrieked," had visited her hospitable 
homes, and had received unvarying kindness and 
respect. Kossuth was to prove in the future that 
her admiration for patriots and patriotism was still 
undimmed. But La Fayette she really loved. He 
had fought her battles, he had been wounded in her 
cause, he had given her and her sister cities the honest 
devotion of his youth. His career since those early 
days had not been a very dazzling one ; but the 
breathless, blood-stained, terrible, glorious history of 
France had permitted only the strong and the un- 
swerving to play memorable parts upon her shifting 
stage. It was not a time for well-meant futilities, 
or indecisive action ; and men more resolute than La 


F"ayette had failed to steer their course amid such 
Titanic storms. It must have been to him an inex- 
pressible pleasure to see once again the land of his 
boyish enthusiasm, the people who cherished for him 
nothing but affection and respect. Never did any man 
thirst more keenly for admiration ; never did any 
nation admire more honestly, or with more fervid 
zeal. The visit of this well-loved Frenchman rekindled 
even the embers of a burned-out fire ; and when the 
Bourbons were expelled from France after the revolu- 
tion of 1830, Philadelj^hia awoke to a transitory glow, 
called meetings, passed resolutions, and sent her sober 
citizens marching through the streets to the airs which 
had once heated the city's blood to fever point, but 
which now produced only an afternoon's pleasurable 

There were still links which bound this restless, fast- 
growing population to the past, still old habits and 
customs not easily relinquished. The social aspects 
of the town had altered less than her political and 
commercial life. She was quieter, more thrifty than 
in the first expansive years of freedom, but otherwise 
unchanged. She is unchanged to-day. When things 
are as good as they can possibly be, what consummate 
wisdom in leaving them alone ! Before the present 
century had started on its course, before Washington 
died, or Congress was carried to New York, Dr. Caspar 
Wistar, author of the first American treatise on 


anatomy, was gathering under his hospitable roof those 
informal Sunday night assemblies which were destined 
to grow into the celebrated Wistar Parties, as much 
an institution of Philadelphia as the Mint. Like all 
things fated to long life, they did not start ready 
made, did not proceed from any definite plan of organ- 
ization ; but expanded slowly and comfortably from 
a few guests to a large club, from the friendliness of 
Sunday evenings to the more formal elegance of Sat- 
urdays, from cakes and wine which nobody wanted to 
oysters and terrapin which nobody pretended not to 

All this took time. In 1811, conviviality had ex- 
tended no further than the introduction of ice-cream, 
nuts and raisins, — strange food for hungry men; 
but the meetings had grown regular, and many 
strangers of distinction brought charm and variety 
into the quiet nights. Among the early guests were 
Baron von Humboldt, who, returning from Mexico 
and the West Indies, lingered a little while in Phila- 
delphia; and Captain Riley, the narrative of whose 
long captivity among the Arabs was one of the treas- 
ures of every child's library. Children's libraries were 
not then the plethoric bookcases of to-day, and Captain 
Riley ranked as a second Sinbad for wonderful advent- 
ures and ill-luck. 

After the death of Dr. Wistar in 1818, it was 
resolved that his evenings should be perpetuated by 


a club bearing his name, the members of which should 
be chosen from the Philosophical Society, thus securing 
" mutual improvement," as in Franklin's youthful 
days. The ice-cream was wisely abandoned in favour 
of hot dishes, which increased and multiplied as years 
went on, until they made a very pleasing impression 
upon so apt a judge as Thackeray, who was not wont 
to ignore the essentials of life. "If I had been in 
Philadelphia, I could scarcely have been more feasted,*' 
he was good enough to write, after a season of London 
and Paris dinnere; and the gratified Philadelphian, 
reading this generous tribute to his birthplace, mur- 
murs under his breath, " Praise from Sir Hubert 
Stanley," and feels justly proud of the Quaker City's 

In 1824 were founded the Franklin Institute for the 
promotion of mechanical and scientific studies, in which 
Philadelphia had always outranked her sister cities, and 
the Pennsylvania Historical Society, which had for its 
purpose " the elucidation of the history of the State." 
Both these institutions began life with characteristic 
modesty, and maintained the utmost discretion amid 
the vicissitudes of impecunious youth. The Franklin 
Institute, like the Academy of Natural Sciences, was 
the work of a dozen young men, who hardly knew how 
much they hoped to accomplish, when they banded 
together and devised their first unpretending schemes. 
A few lectures in the old Academy building, a few 


classes for architectural and mechanical drawing, a few 
more, later on, for mathematics and modern languages. 
This was all they could boast, save a few useful friends 
like Alexander Dallas Bache, great-grandson of Benja- 
min Franklin, who held the chairs of chemistry and 
natural philosophy in the University of Pennsylvania, 
and who was one of the most enthusiastic workers for 
the Institute which bore his great ancestor's name. 
There seemed no lack of pupils, however, ready and 
glad to avail themselves of these lectures and classes ; 
and among the earliest was a young bricklayer named 
Thomas Walter, who learned thus the rudimentary prin- 
ciples of architecture, and who some years later designed 
Girard College and the Capitol at Washington. 

Little doubt was felt at any time of the Institute's 
permanent success. It had among its historical relics 
the original electrical apparatus, and the clumsy print- 
ing-press of Benjamin Franklin, and it appealed to the 
spirit he had fostered, to the seed which ha'd taken deep 
root in such congenial soil. Did not Philadelphia, in 
the days of her tender youth, prefer lectures on elec- 
tricity to the graceless levity of the theatre ? " Penn- 
sylvania," says Mr. Sydney Fisher, " is overwhelmingly 
manufacturing, saturated with industrialism, — the re- 
sult of tendencies that have been working for two 
hundred years." At the very time that Thomas Walter 
was learning other things than the laying of brick on 
brick, a young silversmith and tool-maker named 



Matthias Baldwin \v;is struggling with a problem so 
intricate, and of such absorbing interest, that all the 
former occupations and amusements of liis days faded 
into dull nothingness by its side. 

How curious are the chances that come into men's 
lives and make them what they are ! The use of steam 
as a motor power for railways had by the year 1829 
dawned as a splendid possibility upon the world ; and 
it occurred to Mr. Franklin Peale, the enterprising 
manager of Philadelphia's flourishing museum, that a 
miniature locomotive in good working order would be 
a strong attraction to his patrons. He laid the matter 
before Matthias Baldwin, who undertook eagerly, yet 
with profound misgivings, to construct the ingenious 
toy, which was to be large enough to drag two car- 
riages, each holding two people, around a track laid 
on the museum floor. The little engine when com- 
pleted was wholly successful, both from a scientific and 
from a commercial point of view, — Peale well under- 
stood the temper of the Philadelphians whom he 
studied to please, — and seeing it run its appointed 
course faithfully hour after hour, the managere of the 
Germantown and Norristown Railway Company came 
to the conclusion that steam would be an improvement 
on horse power, even for their few miles of road. They 
directed Baldwin to build them a locomotive, equal in 
drawing power to an English engine recently imported 
by the Camden and Amboy Railway Company, and 


which he was at liberty to inspect and study. It was a 
tremendous undertaking for one so slenderly equipped ; 
but labouring day and night with his own hands, im- 
provising his own tools, training his own workmen, 
triumphing over obstacles and defeats, Matthias Bald- 
win toiled on, and Old Ironsides, parent of American 
engines, was put upon the road on the twenty-third of 
November, 1832. 

Vast was the excitement it created, and vast the 
crowds that flocked to see it start, or — thrilling with 
conscious courage — take their places in the carriages 
it drew. Its utmost speed was thirty miles an hour, 
and such admirable care did the company take of this 
new possession that it was never permitted to run 
out carelessly in the rain. The following is the 
notice inserted in the Daily Advertiser : — 

"The locomotive engine (built by M. W. Baldwin 
of this city) will • depart daily, when the weather is 
fair, with a train of passenger cars. On rainy days, 
horses will be attached." 

So much for being a petted only child! 

The difficulties in the path of the early manufact- 
urers were so great, their discouragement was often so 
profound, that Matthias Baldwin was wont to say de- 
cisively many times before the engine was completed, 
"That is our last locomotive"; futile words when 
destiny had shaped his appointed course. The 
... "fairy-tales of science" 


are the fairy-tales of modernity, and the mighty prog- 
eny of Old Ironsides have gone forth over the civil- 
ized world. To Canada, to South America, to Russia, 
to Austria, to Scandinavia, they have carried the story 
whose interest never flags, — the story of man's con- 
quest over the elements, of his patient labour, his 
resolute perseverance, his unflinching courage, and 
final mastery. 

For matters unconnected with steam and electricity, 
Philadelphia evinced but a languid and half-hearted 
regard. The Pennsylvania Historical Society, founded 
the same winter as the Franklin Institute, received 
scant support from a community which, having broken 
away from the past, was ready to bury it forever out 
of sight. The members met in one of the rooms of 
the Philosophical Society, elected Mr. William Rawle 
as their president, and limited their expenses for fire 
and candles during the first year to the modest sum of 
fifty dollars. Unhelped and unheeded, they set about 
their appointed task, — the collection of books, pam- 
phlets and manuscripts, many of them of great value, 
yet in danger of being permanently lost through the 
general indifference to their safety. For more than 
twenty years they continued this useful work before 
aspiring to quarters of their own, and then rented a 
single room on Sixth Street, which they fitted up with 
a bookcase and other furniture, — "cost, not to exceed 
one hundred dollars." Here, and in the upper story 


of the Athenaeum they remained for twenty-five years, 
and the success of their labours is shown by the size of 
the library they amassed. When, in 1872, they moved 
to the commodious "New Hall" on the grounds of 
the Pennsylvania Hospital, they carried with them 
twelve thousand volumes, eighty thousand pamphlets, 
— not much trouble to collect these in a State which 
never wearied of printing them, — and a vast array of 
unsorted manuscripts. They had worked very quietly 
for nearly half a century, but they had not worked in 

The present home of the Pennsylvania Historical 
Society contrasts pleasantly with the simplicity, not 
to say the indigence, of its youth. Thrice fortunate 
in having secured the fine old property of General 
Patterson on Locust Street, it is spared the evil fate 
common to most institutions, — the inhabiting of 
buildings glaringly new, and ostentatiously appropri- 
ate. From the spacious, beautiful rooms, with their 
ineffaceable air of elegance and hospitality, may be 
seen the leafy garden, narrower than of yore, but in- 
expressibly welcome to the tired eyes of the brick- 
dweller. In these rooms are stored away more than 
forty thousand books, — the pamphlets are now long 
past being counted, — and a number of interesting 
historical relics, from Philadelphia's first charter, 
1691, and the wampum belt presented to Penn by 
the Indians, to " Poor Richard's " Almanacs, and the 


log-book and telescope of Dr. Kane. Here, too, is 

the charming portrait of young William Penn in the 
days of his martial boyhood, and the original despatch 
which brought the news of the battle of Lexington, 
and a collection of nine hundred medals of Washing- 
ton, — a pleasant tribute to fame, — and Franklin's 
little punch-keg which rolled so smoothly from 
thirsty guest to ^uest, and the gold and white china 
presented to the philosopher by Madame Helvetius, 
which seems to have suffered no scath nor mutilation 
at the hands of ravaging housemaids. Those were not 
days Avhen cups and saucers were made to illustrate 
the mutability of matter. 

In 1831 Stephen Girard died, and the bulk of his 
estate was bequeathed to the school which bears his 
name. The millions he had amassed in the old pros- 
perous days of foreign traffic made him the Rotlis- 
child of his age. He was known to be the richest 
man in the United States, and people who loved to 
talk about other men's money never wearied of reck- 
oning up his fortune. He was solitary, austere, 
morose, a good citizen, a just master, but with few 
associates, and fewer friends. He was childless, his 
wife was mad, he lived alone, " exchanging no offices 
of courtesy or kindness with his neighbours." Yet 
in that dreadful summer when Philadelphia was deso- 
lated by the yellow fever, and afterwards, when chol- 
era swept her slums free of their miserable inhabitants, 


no one worked harder for his fellow townsmen than 
Stephen Girard ; no one gave more liberally than he, 
time, money, and even sympathy, that rarest of bene- 
factions from a millionnaire, and which is worth more 
than all his millions multiplied. Girard was not by 
nature kind; his was no bright, broad, genial outlook 
on the world; yet there is not lacking evidence to 
show that he helped again and again where help was 
sorely needed, and where no one recognized the 
helper's hand. Men called him — perhaps with truth 
— an atheist, and atheism was distinctly unpopular 
in the city which religious enthusiasm had founded 
and sustained. The clause in his will which forbade 
to clergymen of any creed the exercise of their sacred 
functions within the precincts of his school, and 
which refused them even the common privilege of 
entering it as visitors, added to the uncanniness of 
his reputation. The bequest was a magnificent one ; 
but why, it was asked, should orphan boys be denied * 
the ministrations of the faith which was their birth- 
right ? Why should this cold hostility to all tenets 
and dogmas reach from the grave to influence the 
lives of little children, uprooted by indigence from 
the soil of home, and flung into the broad, bleak 
arms of systematic, organized charity ? 

It was not possible, however, to disobey or to ignore 
any injunction in Stephen Girard's will. No man 
ever knew his own mind more accurately than he 




did, nor left more minute directions, — even to the 
vaulting of the ceilings, which gave forth such rever- 
berating echoes that they had to be covered over 
before master or boy could hear each other speak in 
the schoolrooms. The only matter in which the 
directors were permitted to use their discretion was 
the study of the classics. " I do not forbid, but I do 
not recommend the Greek and Latin Languages," is 
the wording of the will. It was Girard also who 
applied the term "college" to his great charity school, 
which is not a college in the correct and accepted sense 
of the term. The lads are admitted when they are from 
six to ten years old, and under no circumstances remain 
after they are eighteen, while by far the greater num- 
ber leave at an earlier age. They are taught French 
and Spanish, — which were especially enjoined by the 
founder, — the common English branches, and the in- 
dustrial arts, so that as many as possible may learn to 
labour deftly with their hands. 

It is difficult to do justice to the size and scope of 
this remarkable institution. The trust fund for its 
support has, through the careful management of the 
directors, increased to the enormous sum of fifteen mil- 
lions. The first beautiful building, with its stately 
columns, and its air of noble simplicity, has been 
reinforced by thirteen others, all pleasing to the eye, 
and all admirably constructed. They cover, with their 
lawns and playgrounds, an area of forty-one acres ; and 


within them sixteen hundred boys are maintained and 
educated, forming a little city of their own ; a community 
hemmed in by streets and houses, yet apart from the 
home life which surrounds them ; bound by close kin- 
ship to toiling women and men, yet remote from com- 
mon paths, from common cares, from the common 
pleasures and pains that make up the ordinary, every- 
day existence of Philadelphia's equally poor but less 
secluded sons. 

The year that followed Girard's death was fraught 
with many evils. The intense and unusual heat of 
the summer lent a deadly malignity to the cholera, 
which by this time had returned again and again to 
exact its heavy tolls. So great was the mortality 
that, in the narrow Arch Street jail, seventy prisoners 
died within two months ; and every evening, strollers 
who had come forth to breathe a little air, even the 
stifling, tainted air of the city by-ways, saw the corpses 
carried from the prison gates, and piled in the waiting 
carts. Then, too, the hostile attitude of President 
Jackson, who in July vetoed the bill to re-charter the 
Bank of the United States, awoke bitter but futile 
resentment, and was ominous of coming calamity. 
Philadelphia's banks had always led stormy lives; 
but she had hoped, and hoped in vain, that a national 
institution, well-ordered and beneficial, might win more 
gentle treatment. Valiant efforts were made by the 
directors to avert the threatened destruction; their 


official statements were pronounced satisfactory, and 
Mr. Nicholas Biddle, the bank's president, did all 
that .lay in the power of mortal man to soften the 
animosity of its enemies^ But Jackson, who was not 
easily turned from a set purpose, followed up his veto 
by removing the government deposits. Business was 
paralyzed, one failure followed another, and, in this 
desperate emergency, it was deemed possible to re- 
incorporate the stock in a state institution, which 
was chartered by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 
1836. From that day until its final collapse in 1840, 
distress was keen and ruin imminent. All classes 
suffered from a blow that was aimed at all alike. 
The rich lost heavily through the rapid depreciation 
of stocks, the poor were rendered poorer by the in- 
evitable reduction of wages. It was a melancholy 
period, which the historian is glad to pass swiftly 
and lightly by. 

One incident of the time is worth narrating for the 
pleasant illustration it affords of our grandfathers' 
conservatism and piety. Only in 1830 did Philadel- 
phia succeed in ridding herself of the chains which 
churches of all denominations were permitted to stretch 
across the streets during the hours of service, so that 
neither preacher nor congregation should be disturbed 
by passing vehicles. People were supposed to stay 
quietly at home, or to sit quietly in their pews, on 
the Sabbath day, and not to drive profanely through 



'•-W^ -'C- 



the silent city. But necessity knows no Sunday, and 
it often happened that the doctor speeding to his pa- 
tients, the engines speeding to a fire, were fatally delayed 
by these barriers which forced them to turn aside again 
and again before their destinations could be reached. 
Even the driver of the mail protested irreligiously 
against such devious and winding ways, and a strong 
effort was made to have the troublesome impediments 
removed. The churches, one and all, wrestled stoutly 
for their peculiar privilege, but public sentiment mas- 
tered their opposition. The chains fell, and sleepy 
citizens, dimly conscious of Philadelphia's progress, 
murmured softly like the obstinate Galileo, "Still it 
moves I " 



TpOR many years the City of Brotherly Love had 
been preeminent for the bitterness of her hos- 
tile factions, and for the unruly behaviour of her 
mob. The populace had learned its lawless lessons 
during the Revolution. It had sincerely enjoyed 
breaking the windows of Quaker citizens, or raiding 
the houses of Tories. These diversions coming to a 
close when the Republic was firmly established, 
were succeeded by other and no less lively demon- 
strations. Genet's heroic sympathizers had threat- 
ened Washington and the administration with open 
violence. Labour riots had become more and more 
common, as times grew harder and harder. The 
weavers in Kensington defied the sheriff, routed the 
police, and destroyed the hated machinery. The 
volunteer fire companies, " brigand firemen," as Mr. 
Fisher calls them, added a powerful element of dis- 
order to the city they were supposed to serve. Rival 
companies fought desperately for tlie possession of 
plugs, while houses burned to the ground, and 
favoured thieves, to whom the firemen had granted 


RIOTS 343 

their patronage and protection, pillaged the property 
of all that could be swiftly seized. If a mob fired 
a building, — no unusual occurrence, — and the hose 
companies sympathized with the mob, they refused 
to extinguish the flames. If their sympathies were 
on the other side, they naturally preferred fighting 
their opponents to bothering about the conflagration. 
In either case, householders suffered, and so power- 
ful had these rufiians become, so influential were 
they in city politics, that no man dared to protest 
openly against their evil doing. 

The anti-slavery agitation, which grew more violent 
after 1830, awoke such passionate resentment and 
opposition in the hearts of the masses that riot fol- 
lowed riot. Negroes were pelted in the streets, white 
men, who pleaded their cause, were pelted on tlie plat- 
form. Houses occupied by negroes were burned to 
the ground, and their inmates fled in abject terror 
beyond the city limits. In May, 1838, the Abolition- 
ists held their meetings in Pennsylvania Hall, on 
Sixth Street, and many prominent agitators denounced 
the accumulated evils of slavery. Among tlie rest, 
John Green leaf Whittier, then editing the Penn- 
sylvania Freeman^ read a poetical address, in which 
he rejoiced — prematurely — over the consecration of 
the hall to the noble cause of emancipation. 

" One door is open, and one temple free, 
A resting-place for hunted Liberty." 



It was not open long. Two nights later, the mob 
burned it to the ground, and Whittier, disguised in 
a wig and a white overcoat, — like the detective of 
melodrama, — watched the work of destruction, and 
sighed over the non-prophetic character of his verse. 


f \ 




All this sustained defiance of law and order paved 
the way for the serious riots of 1844, the "Native 
American Riots " as they were called, because they 
arose from the clamorous opposition offered by the 
Native American Association to the equally vehe- 

RIOTS 345 

ment demand of the Roman Catholics that children 
belonging to their church should, when attending 
religious instruction in the public schools, be per- 
mitted to use the Douai instead of the King James 
Bible. This controversy being well established, and 
a consecrated character given to the impending strug- 
gle between two nationalities, the outbreak began, 
as most outbreaks do begin, through the inordinate 
desire of one faction to hold meetings and denounce 
their opponents, and the irresistible impulse of the 
other faction to break up the meeting with brickbats. 
That the Native Americans should have selected to 
gather together and expound their views in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the Hibernia Hose Company, showed 
either a readiness for the strife, or a painful lack of 
perspicuity. The habit, long acquired, of holding 
pitched battles over disputed fire-plugs had made 
miglity fighters of all the volunteer companies. That 
the Hibernians should have sallied forth and attacked 
the meeting evangelical, was, while neither wise nor 
right, hardly a matter of surprise to those who knew 
the Irish temperament, and the pure joy it feels in 
breaking heads. A lively combat ensued, in which 
guns were fired, some of them from the windows of 
the. Hibernia Hose House, many people were injured, 
and one lad killed. At seven in the evening the 
sheriff, Mr. Morton McMichael, arrived on the scene, 
but was powerless to check the rioting, which grew 


fiercer and fiercer under cover of the darkness. An 
attempt was made by the Native Americans and their 
upholders to burn a schoolhouse occupied by the 
Sisters of Charity and their pupils, — helpless creat- 
ures wlio had been guilty of no violence, and who 
could not even avoid being in danger's way. They 
were staiichly defended, however, by the Irishmen; 
and, as the battle deepened, a number of "innocent 
spectators," who should have been at home, were 
severely wounded, and houses tenanted by Roman 
Catholics had all their windows broken. 

It was a bad night's work. Several injured men 
died after being carried to the hospital, and the gen- 
eral excitement was fast reaching fever heat. The 
Native Americans held another meeting the follow- 
ing day, passed resolutions, denounced the Catholics, 
and, growing angrier and angrier under the spur of 
their own eloquence, marched in a body to attack 
the Hibernia Hose House. The Irishmen were there 
to meet them, and a fierce struggle followed, in which 
six of the invaders were killed. They succeeded at 
length in firing the house, and the flames spread with 
appalling rapidity to all the neighbouring properties. 
Alarm was given, and a number of engines came to 
the rescue ; but the mob, now blind with fury, and 
unable to distinguish between friend and foe, refused 
to allow any of the firemen to approach the burning 
buildings. It was only the arrival of the First 

moT8 847 

Brigade, commanded by General Cadvvalader, which 
calmed their emotions, and persuaded them to sullenly 
disperse. The conflagration was checked, but not 
before thirty houses and the old "nanny-goat mar- 
ket" were reduced to smouldering ruins. 

Up to this point there had been little to choose 
between the lawlessness of either faction. Honours 
were easy, and upon all shouldei's rested the burden 
of blame. But the passions of the mob had been 
heated to danger-point, and it was pleased to side 
with the Native Americans, and to profess the same 
religious enthusiasm which lent zest to the Gordon 
riots in London. The torch has ever been the favourite 
weapon of the populace, and it was used with terrible 
efficacy and good-will. The Catholics were no longer 
able to defend tlieir property. Bishop Kenrick issued 
a manifesto, entreating and commanding them to 
offer no violence under provocation, but to trust to 
the protection of their country's laws. The struggle 
did not lie now, as in the beginning, between the 
Native American Association and the Irishmen, but 
between tlie mob and the military, between open 
outlawry and the authority of the State. 

One day of quiet lulled the city into a false sense 
of security, and on the next, a maddened crowd, rising 
like locusts from the ground, swept through the 
streets of Kensington, and at broad noon applied the 
torch to St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, and 


to the schoolhouse, the "nunnery" as it was called, 
which had so narrowly escaped destruction three days 
before. Both buildings were burned to the ground, 
and the rioters decided to prolong the entertainment 
by firing the rectory and some adjacent houses. They 
were sincerely anxious, or so they affirmed, to confine 
their attentions to members of the erring creed; but 
unluckily the flames recognized no polemical distinc- 
tions, and spread straight on, consuming two rows 
of humble residences, and filling all hearts with con- 
sternation and dismay. It was five o'clock before the 
arrival of the soldiers dispersed the mob, and saved 
the entire quarter from destruction ; and in the mean- 
time another body of rioters had gathered in front of 
St. Augustine's Catholic Church, at Fourth and Vine 
Streets. This was in the heart of the city, far from 
the scene of the previous disturbances, far from the 
offending hose company, and the homes of the Irish 
weavers. The City Troop was stationed near; Phila- 
delphia's mayor was present on the spot. Apparently, 
mayor and military were alike disregarded. The in- 
cendiaries broke open the church, and set it on fire. 
The flames, mounting rapidly and without hindrance, 
licked the roof and the wooden cupola, surmounted 
by a gilded cross. When this cross fell crashing to 
the ground, cheer after cheer burst from the throats 
of the surrounding mob. While men shrieked their 
approval and delight, the City Troop rode by at full 

RIOTS 349 

gallop, their brilliant trappings lit by the glare of 
the conflagration. The rioters defied them doggedly, 
and went on with their work of destruction. 

Adjoining the church was the schoolhouse. It had 
been turned into a hospital during the dreadful summer 
of 1832, and in it the Sistera of Charity had nursed the 
sick and dying cholera patients through those long 
months of burning heat and pestilence. Now it was 
once more a school, and contained the valuable library 
of the Augustinian priests. There were over a thousand 
books, many of them rare old editions of the classics, 
which could not be duplicated in the United States. 
The mob flung these books out of the windows, kicked 
them into heaps, and made bonfires of them in the street. 
A few were saved, many were stolen, before the flames 
spread to the schoolhouse, and consumed all the rest in 
one swift, hopeless destruction. By morning nothing 
was left save a mass of ruins, and the blackened walls 
of the church, on one of which, high over the spot 
where the desecrated altar had stood, might still be 
deciphered the prophetic words, "The Lord Seeth." 
Men looked at them and wondered, as they look to-day 
at the dim figure of Christ with outstretched arms, which, 
whitewashed rudely over by Moslem hands, still stands 
faintly but inefPaceably portrayed above the apse of 
St. Sophia. 

The city began to realize the gravity of the situation, 
and the extent of its own danger. Mayor Scott called 


a meeting, enrolled a number of citizens in the " peace 
police," and divided them into patrols for the protection 
of life and property. Bishop Kenrick ordered all Catho- 
lic churches to be closed the following Sunday, lest 
fresh provocation should lead to fresh disorder ; and for 
the first time, since the early history of Philadelphia, 
men stayed in their homes because they dared not as- 
semble for service. St. John's, then the Catholic cathe- 
dral, and St. Mary's had both been threatened by hostile 
mobs ; and St. John's had been saved from the torch by 
the timely appearance of General Cadwalader, who found 
the rioters ready for their work, and gave them five 
minutes in which to disperse. So great, however, was 
the feeling of insecurity, so menacing the attitude of 
the populace, that the sacred vessels and the vestments 
were removed from the churches, and concealed in 
private houses. Even the Catholic orphans were not 
permitted to remain in the asylums which no longer 
afforded them a safe shelter. 

The grand jury, then in session, presented a long and 
feeble statement, " regretted " the extent of the violence, 
intimated that it was really time the disturbances should 
cease, and charged the beginning of the outbreak to " the 
efforts of a portion of the community to exclude the 
Bible from the public schools"; — hardly a fair asser- 
tion, inasmuch as the Douai version of the Scriptures, 
while less beautiful as English literature than the trans- 
lation authorized by King James, is still " the Bible," 


BIOTS 851 

and to read it is not to exclude Holy Writ from edu- 
cation. Nevertheless a sentiment prevailed that the 
street riots were in some sort religious and devotional, 
a nineteenth century crusade, unduly zealous perhaps, 
but stimulated — like the Gordon riots — by pious fer- 
vour. The Native American Association grew rapidly 
from a few hundreds to many thousands ; and, conscious 
of its own strength and of the weakness of its opponents, 
it prepared for a grand demonstration on the Fourth 
of July, a demonstration which should effectually but 
peacefully reveal its imposing size and majesty. 

For provoking quarrels and for disseminating conta- 
gion, nothing is so preeminently successful as a parade. 
The Catholics were, indeed, more impressed than was 
altogether desirable by the mighty preparations for the 
Fourth. They were thoroughly alarmed for the safety 
of their churches, and the congregation of St. Philip 
Neri's applied to the arsenal for arms, with which a 
volunteer company under a commissioned officer could 
protect the property, if attacked. Twenty-five muskets 
were furnished on an order from Governor Porter. 
These were never used, because no assault was made on 
the day of the great procession ; but when it was gener- 
ally known that guns and powder had been stored in 
the church, a strong feeling of hostility was aroused. 
If people were to be permitted to defend their posses- 
sions after this martial fashion, there would be an end 
to all the pleasant pastimes of the last fortnight. The 


sheriff accordingly removed the objectionable arms the 
following morning, but the excitement did not subside ; 
and, on the sixth of July, the slow gathering of the mob, 
which grew denser and denser as night approached, gave 
ominous warning of the trouble still to come. General 
Cadwalader, who by this time had grown pardonably 
weary of the populace and its diversions, strove hard to 
clear the streets ; and the soldiers, though taunted and 
insulted by the rioters, succeeded by midnight in dis- 
persing them for a few hours, — the lull before the 
storm. Day had not dawned before they were back 
again, sullen, resolute, ripe for any form of violence, a 
force not easily reckoned with nor subdued. In a few 
hours they had broken the windows and battered down 
the door of St. Philip Neri's, forced the militia who were 
guarding it to withdraw, and established themselves 
triumphantly in the church, as in a fortress that had 
been carried by storm. 

Once more General Cadwalader prepared to dislodge 
them, and this time he realized the nature of the 
impending strife. The troops were ordered to clear 
Queen Street. It was no facile task. The mob, well- 
armed, and well supplied with ammunition, fought 
fiercely in the narrow highways. Through the long 
summer afternoon, and far into the night, the battle 
raged. From windows and from pointed roofs the 
rioters fired down upon the soldiers. They dragged 
three cannons from a ship lying at the wharf, loaded 




them with bolts, chains and spikes, and discharged them 
again and again, the result being as fatal to the crowd 
as to their opponents. They stretched ropes across the 
darkening streets to obstruct the passage of the cavalry. 
It was picturesque, and exceedingly like Perugia in the 
Middle Ages, when the Baglioni and their rivals fought 
in the great square of the Cathedral ; but it was not 
at all like Penn's City of Peace, which he had founded 
as an asylum for the oppressed, where no sword was to 
be drawn, and no man persecuted for his creed. 

The soldiers, hemmed in on every side, were well- 
nigh exhausted. They also had two cannons, brought 


from the battery at Second and Queen Streets ; but 
their ammunition was nearly gone when the arrival of 
the First State Troop forced the mob to give way. 
By midnight the firing ceased, and by dawn, twenty- 
four hours after the rioters had assembled in front of 
St. Philip's Church, the streets were clear, and peace 
restored to Philadelphia. Only the wounded and the 
dead were left to tell the price she paid. 

This was the last mad outbreak of the populace. 
Governor Porter, now fully awake to the public 
peril, called together all the troops that could be 
spared from Pennsylvania's more tranquil towns, and 
the presence of five thousand soldiers calmed the angry 
passions, and chilled the religious enthusiasm of the 
mob. Nor had the city learned her lesson without 
profit therefrom. It was clearly evident that the old 
system of boroughs and townships no longer afforded 
a safe or strong municipal government, and that some 
closer bond was necessary to draw together the differ- 
ent parts of one great whole, and unite them in a 
single corporation. In 1849 a meeting of prominent 
citizens, under the leadership of Eli K. Price, began 
the work of reform, which was so successfully con- 
cluded by the Consolidation Act of 1854. Philadel- 
phia, instead of being divided and subdivided in a 
fashion which lent itself to perpetual strife and a dan- 
gerous weakening of responsibility, became one united, 
consolidated city. The pernicious system of taxation, 

RIOTS 355 

which was all cost and no returns, disappeared in favour 
of more practical methods. The volunteer fire compa- 
nies were shorn of their political power, compelled to 
modify their methods, and finally abolished altogether, 
when many dry eyes witnessed their departure. The 
police corps was reorganized, and bands of ruffians, like 
the "Bouncers" and the "Schuylkill Rangers," no 
longer found themselves at liberty to terrorize one dis- 
trict, and retreat safely to another, where the arm of the 
law could not reach them. The common schools were 
securely established, and education took a great leap 
forward, — a leap in the dark, said the discontented, 
but anything seemed better than standing perfectly still. 
In fact, the city had grown weary of immobility ; weary 
of the torpor which had bound her for the past forty 
years, and had reduced her to a dead level of mediocrity; 
weary of narrow ways, of insignificance, and provincial- 
ism. New life was tingling in her veins, new hopes and 
fears were beating in her heart. Already the shadow 
of strife was darkening over the land, and drowsy 
Philadelphia awoke to play her part in the coming 
struggle. The voice to which she had ever responded 
had been the voice of war. 



"FT is the irony of fate that the province Penn 
founded to be the home of peace should have 
gained distinction as a fighting state. He had planned 
a refuge from the din of contention, the wickedness 
of bloodshed ; and the colony he loved cast aside the 
traditions which had nourished her. Pennsylvania, 
as Mr. Sydney Fisher observes, has, in the course of 
her history, " produced more distinguished military 
men, manufactured more war material, and had more 
important battles in more different wars fought on 
her soil, than any other State in the Union." It is 
the old story of destiny and the plough overturning 
the plans of men and mice. 

Theoretically, Philadelphia had always been opposed 
to slavery. Germantown protested against the hold- 
ing of slaves in Penn's lifetime, when the custom was 
universal. The Friends had ceaselessly combated 
what they believed to be a deadly evil ; and the keen 
desire of the southern congressmen to remove the 
seat of government to Washington arose from a not 
unnatural anxiety to escape the endless protests of 



the Quaker Abolitionists. It is true that the populace, 
largely composed of foreign elements, grew more and 
more hostile to the anti-slavery agitators, until its 
anger culminated in negro riots, and the burning of 
Pennsylvania Hall. But Philadelphia and Philadel- 
phia's mob were never in accord. It is true also that 
the city's trade was largely with the South, that she 
had always been on terms of especial friendship with 
southern towns and states, and that she was unwilling 
to see this cordial understanding weakened, and her 
commerce injured, by reckless agitation on the part 
of those who had no interests at stake. The abolition 
movement had never wholly won her favour, and, 
though the Fugitive Slave Law was little more to 
her liking, she strove for years to enforce it, to keep 
faith with her neighbours, and to respect their legal 
rights. It was a conflict of emotions, the end of 
which might have been easily foreseen by those who 
witnessed the joyous welcome given to Abraham 
Lincoln before his inauguration, and the enthusiasm 
evoked when the President-elect raised the new flag 
with its thirty-four stars — the last star for the recently 
adopted state of Kansas — over the roof of Indepen- 
dence Hall. The lessons taught by those historic 
walls had not been learned in vain. Philadelphia 
may have regarded with cold aversion the New Eng- 
land oratoi-s who stirred the animosity she was most 
anxious to allay ; but there was neither doubt iu her 



mind nor hesitation in her actions when the safety 
of the Union was imperilled. Of speeches in the 
market-place she had grown weary and mistrustful; 


but, if the call came, she was ready as of old to argue 
the matter stolidly in platoons. 

The call did come with the attack on Fort Sumter, 
and with the President's demand for seventy-five 
thousand volunteers to quell the rebellion. The first 


State to respond was Quaker Pennsylvania, the first 
soldiers sent to Washington were five companies of 
Pennsylvania militia, under the command of General 
Robert Patterson and General William Keim. General 
Patterson was at this time in his seventieth year. He 
had served in the war of 1812, and in the war with 
Mexico ; but an Irishman from county Tyrone is sel- 
dom too old to fight, and General Scott, then command- 
ing the United States army, entrusted to the care of 
this Philadelphia veteran the " Department of Wash- 
ington," and the protection of the Capitol. 

Twenty-five regiments were exacted as Pennsyl- 
vania's first quota of men. They were raised immedi- 
ately, and thirty more were offered, but, at the time, 
refused. The Pennsylvania Reserves were organized 
the same year for the defence of the State, — fifteen 
thousand men, serving three years, and holding them- 
selves in readiness for any emergency. The emergency 
came quick enough after the Confederate victory at 
Bull Run. The President instantly called the Reserves 
to Washington, and from that time to the close of the 
struggle they fought with great distinction, never 
being permitted to return to the service of their 

^leanwhile the industries of war changed Philadel- 
phia into a great hive, where men and women toiled 
like bees to manufacture much that the country needed, 
and needed instantly. In the arsenal, men laboured 


day and night ; in the South wark Navy Yard, the force 
was gradually increased from six hundred to seventeen 
hundred, and yet the work could not be done in time. 
Cannons were cast in the foundries, thousands of 
wagons were made for the service of the artillery and 
of the commissariat. Countless throngs of women 
were employed in cutting out and sewing the blue- 
grey uniforms of the soldiers, now hastening from 
every township in the State, from every home in the 
city, to bear their parts in the bloody strife. 

Yet even while Pennsylvania's sons went forth to 
join the ranks, even while Meade, McClellan, Rey- 
nolds, and many more were heaping up honours for 
her name, she was, none the less, the home of the 
"Copperhead," of the Democrat whose heart was not 
in the war, and who ardently desired peace. He was 
a force to be reckoned with, an opponent not easily 
subdued. The ceaseless cry for more men, more men, 
and ever more men to fill up the places of the 
dead; the terrible carnage in each succeeding battle; 
the overflowing hospitals ; the desolate homes ; the 
flinging away of human lives without stint, without 
mercy, without reckoning, — these things embittered 
the soul of the Copperhead, and lent weight to his 
vehement denunciations. His unwelcome presence, 
his unsilenced tongue, evoked endless complications ; 
not the least of which was the deciding where free- 
dom of speech ended, and disloyalty began. This 


was a point on which zealous patriots and conserva- 
tive lawyers naturally failed to agree. Judge Cad- 
walader and his brothers on the bench were kept 
busy defining the exact nature of treason and mis- 
prision of treason ; but their verdicts awakened little 
enthusiasm in the hearts of jurymen or the crowd. 
If a man sold firearms to the Confederates, that was 
treasonable, and he could — when caught — be promptly 
punished. But the editor of an evening paper might 
disparage President Lincoln, and praise President 
Davis, and the angry people were told this was the 
privilege of citizenship. They called it treason, though 
the judges wouldn't, and they broke windows and bat- 
tered doors to emphasize their opinions ; demanding 
indignantly, when arrested, if traitors were to be cod- 
dled, and loyal men punished, in the City of Brotherly 

When, in the summer of 1863, came the news of 
General Lee's advance to the Shenandoah Valley, the 
wildest excitement reigned throughout the Middle 
States, and centred itself in Philadelphia. Once 
more was heard the oft-repeated call for volunteers. 
A hundred thousand men the President demanded, to 
meet this sudden danger, and half of them were to be 
raised in Pennsylvania. The harvests were ripening 
with few hands to reap them ; the dead lay uncounted 
in the trenches of every battlefield ; but there was 
no holding back when the summons came. Governor 


Curtin issued his proclamation, asking for soldiers to 
defend the State, and young and old responded swiftly 
to the appeal. Councils granted five hundred thousand 
dollars for home defences, and all Philadelphia citizens, 
exempt from active service, were bidden to enlist in a 
corps organized for the protection of the town. The 
ordinary business of life stood still. Shops were 
closed, and anxious crowds thronged Chestnut Street, 
and pressed about the State House, eager for tidings, 
yet fearful lest it should be evil tidings that they 
heard, lest word should come that Lee was even then 
advancing into the heart of Pennsylvania, and would 
stand at the city's doors. 

General George G. Meade was at this time in com- 
mand of the Army of the Potomac, whose leaders had 
succeeded each other with bewildering and dishearten- 
ing rapidity. The battle that decided the fortunes of 
the State was fought at Gettysburg on the first, second, 
and third of July; a pitiless, glorious battle, where 
both armies contended with desperate valour for three 
awful days, and where the loss of life was too appall- 
ing to be calmly considered. In Philadelphia, wild 
and contradictory rumours filled all hearts with sus- 
pense until the morning of the fifth, when Meade's 
official despatches announced that Lee's advance had 
been checked; and, immediately after, the sick and 
wounded came pouring into the city. General Han- 
cock, with a shattered leg, and five hundred unfortunate 

u , = mn n 





companions arrived on the fifth, and, by the twelfth, 
over four thousand injured soldiers lay in our hospitals, 
bearing witness to the cost of deliverance. Three 
thousand Confederate prisonei's were at the same time 
carried to Fort Delaware. It was not easy to rejoice 
with so much suffering on every side, and when the 
long lists of the dead carried mourning to countless 

The news of the capture of Vicksburg by General 
Grant pointed clearly to the end of the unequal 
combat, and men began to ask themselves how much 
longer these ragged, unpaid, undaunted southern 
soldiers intended to hold out against fate. The fee- 
ble resources of the South were waning fiist; those 
of the North were practically inexhaustible. Im- 
mediately after the battles of Gettysburg and 
Vicksburg, President Lincoln issued a proclamation, 
demanding three hundred thousand men to serve 
three years. They were to be raised by conscription, 
for it was no longer an easy task to find that num- 
ber of volunteers; and, by the middle of July, the 
drafting — bitter work — began in Philadelphia. Be- 
fore seven months had passed, two hundred thousand 
more men were needed to fill the gaps made by Grant's 
bloody conquests. In these two conscriptions, Phila- 
delphia's quota was thirteen thousand men; yet she 
stood stanchly by her Republican governor, and by 
the great Republican President, though General 


McClellan was deeply beloved in the city of his 
birth, and the anger aroused when he was superseded 
in command by General Burnside added immeasura- 
bly to the strength of the Copperheads, and to the 
disquiet of the whole population. The emancipation 
of the slaves had been gladly welcomed, even by the 
majority of the Democrats, and all classes united in 
one great effort to soften the sufferings of the 
wounded soldiers, whose numbers had now risen to 
dreadful proportions, notwithstanding the ceaseless 
thinning of their ranks by fever. 

From the beginning of the war, Philadelphia had 
taxed her energies to the utmost in the unceasing 
effort to provide accommodation for the sick and 
injured. After the second battle of Bull Run, seven- 
teen hundred of these unfortunates arrived within 
twenty-four hours; and, after Grant's battles in Vir- 
ginia, five thousand were sent in an incredibly 
short time from the South, to be crowded into the 
already overflowing hospitals. It was well-nigh im- 
possible to obtain trained and competent nurses ; and 
the city gladly accepted the aid offered by the Sisters 
of Charity, at whose head was a woman of singular 
capacity and strength of character. Sister Gonzaga, 
well known for the work she did during those try- 
ing years. In the summer of 1864 the great Sani- 
tary Fair was opened in Logan Square, where a 
number of buildings had been hastily erected for the 


purpose. It wiis like a little " World's Fair,'* brilliant, 
beautiful, varied, — everything but gay, — gayety being 
hard to p^rasp after more than three years of civil war. 
President Lincoln came from Wiishington to do it 
honour, and the proceeds, amounting to over a million 
of dollars, were devoted to the purchase of hospital 
supplies for the wounded soldiei*s in Pennsylvania, 
New Jersey and Delaware. 

In December, 1864, there was still another call for 
three hundred thousand men, and the proclamation 
of the President allowed less than four weeks for 
the drafting of this new army, to which Philadelphia's 
contribution was eleven thousand, five hundred sol- 
diers. It was, however, the last conscription of the 
war. The South lay devastated, drained of every re- 
source, without money, without food, without ammu- 
nition. Boys of fifteen and old grey-haired men were 
fiorhtino: in her enfeebled ranks. The fertile lands 
were barren of their harvests, and, in the broad track 
of Sherman's destroying army, women and childi*en 
starved by their desolate hearths. The end, so long 
deferred, had come at last; and on the tenth of 
April, 1865, word was carried to waiting Philadelphia 
that the remnant of Lee's forces, a pitiful remnant 
of twenty-six thousand men, had surrendered to 
Grant, and that the war was over. From her old 
State House roof rang out the joyful tidings, and 
every heart responded with rapture to the message 


of the bell. The war was over. It was hard to 
believe the truth, hard to feel sure that the pitiless 
drafting and the pitiless slaughter were already 
things of the past, and that men of one nation, 
brothers of one parent stem, were no longer march- 
ing to kill each other in the open field. Penn- 
sylvania had sent over three hundred and sixty-six 
thousand of her sons to do this deadly work. One 
out of every eight inhabitants — a ghastly proportion 
— had gone forth to fight. What wonder that 
Pennsylvania's great city should draw a deep breath 
of relief when this pressure was lifted from her 
heart! Out of the handful of soldiers who had left 
the State during the war with Mexico, only one half 
returned. Out of the vast army who departed for 
the Civil War, so many perished that the universal 
joy was subdued by almost universal mourning. 

The news of President Lincoln's assassination came 
like a bolt from the blue, and turned the public content 
into sorrow and ominous gloom. His body was brought 
to Philadelphia on the twenty-second of April, and lay in 
state for two days in Independence Hall, where four years 
before he had raised the new flag amid the joyous en- 
thusiasm of the crowd. Now the people came in thou- 
sands to gaze sadly at his bier, and thousands more were 
turned from the doors when the two short days were 
over. It was a tragic ending to the story of the war, 
and it robbed peace of its gladness and its triumph. 

->_;—• ■-'Ji'"'»^« 




nnHE great wave of emotion which swept over the 
country with the strife which rent her apart, and 
with the slow reconciliation which bound her once more 
in unity, left its traces upon national life., the stern 
foster-mother of arts and lettei*s, wakened the dormant 
spirit of the people, who responded, as all people do 
respond, to impulses borne of that strange quickening 
discord. Even to the South, bearing its heavy burden 
of humiliation and distress, came the thrill of this tin- 
gling renaissance, while the North and West sprang 
forward with giant bounds. Philadelphia, roused thor- 



oughly from her long sleep, felt no disposition to drowse 
again. The nation was fast approaching her hundredth 
birthday. She was 

" growing a great girl now," 

as Father Punch genially observed, and it was but fitting 
that the town which had the honour of being her birth- 
place should joyously celebrate this auspicious anniver- 
sary. The Centennial Exhibition has been so far 
surpassed by the glories of Chicago's exhibition that 
people speak of it now with patronizing kindness, as of 
something well-meant, but indifferently executed. It is 
a point of honour for each world's fair to eclipse the 
fair before it ; and when a summit of splendour is 
reached which cannot be outclimbed, the diversion must 
come to an end, and even Paris find another plaything. 
Philadelphia, always a pioneer, has been almost always 
excelled by those who followed in her footsteps. She 
it was, among American cities, who printed the first 
daily newspaper, and the first magazine. She established 
the first circulating library, the first corporate bank, 
and the first medical college. She laid the keel of the 
first American warship, and unfurled the first American 
flag. She was the home of the first National Congress, 
and of the first Supreme Court of the United States. 
Finally, she organized the first World's Fair that this 
country had ever seen, — no facile task, as those who 
bore a part in it can testify. 


Perhaps the most cheering token that the Fair was at 
least a possibility lay in the success of the Franklin In- 
stitute, which in 1874 gave a very brilliant exhibition 
of the mechanical arts. But the difficulties in the path 
of the vaster enterprise were well-nigh insurmountable. 
Lack of money, lack of precedent, lack of knowledge, 
lack of skill, held back the eager hands. The national 
government promptly and firmly declined to grant any 
assistance, save the cost of its own exhibits, and a loan 
of one million, five hundred thousand dollars, which 
was repaid in full to the treasury when the Fair was 
closed. The city did not lend, but gave a similar sum 
for tlie erection of Machinery Hall, and the highly 
ornate Horticultural Hall, which commended itself to 
the taste of those who liked plenty of colour for their 
money. The State of Pennsylvania appropriated one 
million of dollars, which were ruthlessly expended upon 
Memorial Hall, a squat, clumsy building, sadly destitute 
of distinction or beauty, and which stands to-day in 
Fairmount Park, an abiding but unnecessary proof of 
our boundless waste, and limited artistic development. 
All the other expenses were borne by the board of 
finance which, under the able leadership of Mr. John 
Welsh, struggled and struggled successfully to raise the 
necessary funds. 

Of the interest aroused by the Fair, of the wonder 
it excited, and of the impetus it gave, not to Penn- 
sylvania alone, but to the whole nation, it is unue- 


cessary to speak. Nature, indeed, with that grim 
humour which is so scantily appreciated by her vic- 
tims, exerted herself to play a part in the festivities ; 
and provided a season of such sustained and unprece 
dented heat that Philadelphia's reputation as a daugh- 
ter of the tropics was forever established in the land. 
From the tenth of May, when the Exhibition opened, 
to the tenth of November, when it closed, there was 
little escape from this baleful temperature ; and, in 
the summer days, the thermometer under the spread- 
ing trees of the Park, or in the shaded city streets, 
ranged from ninety to one hundred and two degrees, 
with a persistence which cost many lives, and can 
never be forgotten by the survivors. Well did they 
realize in those dreadful months the meaning of 
Penn's proud assertion that his province lay "six 
hundred miles nearer the sun " than England. 

One of the immediate results of the Exhibition was 
the arousing of a patriotic interest in centenaries, 
which came thick and fast, and afforded plenty of 
opportunities for demonstrations. In 1882 Philadel- 
phia celebrated the two hundredth anniversary of 
her Founder's arrival. A little ship resembling the 
Welcome was towed to the Dock Street wharf on the 
morning of October 24th, and William Penn's repre- 
sentative, stepping ashore, was duly welcomed, and 
compelled to play his part in a merciless civic pro- 
cession which took four hours to pass a given point. 


and was as hopelessly uninteresting as only a civic 
procession can be. A nation without an army is — 
unless she wastes her money in less useful and hon- 
ourable fashion — greatly to be envied on the score 
of economy; but her parades are seldom things of 
beauty. Yet, strange to say, the Quaker City has 
ever dearly loved these dismal divereions. She will 
now contentedly see her traffic stopped, and her im- 
patient citizens wedged in waiting crowds, while hun- 
dreds of policemen and firemen walk stolidly and 
mournfully through the streets, the effect given 
being that of a gigantic funeral. At the bi-Centen- 
nial there were four whole days devoted to parades. 
Three thousand Knights Templar, twenty-four thou- 
sand tradesmen and artisans, and many companies of 
militia took turns in honouring the memory of Penn, 
and commemorating his journey over the sea to the 
colony he founded and loved. 

In 1887 came the centenary of the adoption of the 
National Constitution, and three days were given 
over to the customary celebrations. One hundred 
years before, when the States wheeled into line and 
accepted the code of laws under which they were to 
live, Philadelphia expressed her joy by organizing 
the first great industrial procession that ever marched 
through her streets, a procession in which her leading 
citizens masqueraded amiably and picturesquely as 
cultivators of the soil. She now repeated this enter- 


tainment without the masqueraders, but on such a 
gigantic scale that the wagons and floats took seven 
hours to pass the State House, and imprisoned spec- 
tators felt the glow of enthusiasm slowly chill before 
the pitiless autocracy of hunger and fatigue. 

Meanwhile the progress of the city outstripped the 
ambition of her sons. Burdened by municipal blun- 
ders, tainted by municipal corruption, she yet pushed 
onward, freeing herself now and then from some of 
the barnacles that clung, and still cling, about her 
civic skirts. The Bullitt Bill, as the new charter 
was called, did for her in 1885 what the Consolida- 
tion Act did in 1854, — cleared and simplified the 
complicated machinery of her laws, reduced her 
twenty-five departments to nine, corrected some star- 
ing and unabashed abuses, and made of her mayor — 
hitherto a figurehead — a very important and authori- 
tative official, upon whose fitness or unfitness for his 
post depends much of the city's weal. The enlarge- 
ment of the harbour, the deepening of the river bed, 
the establishment of the Bourse, the increase of manu- 
facturing interests, the building of many ships and 
many locomotives, — sisters and brothers of progres- 
sion, — all have abundantly proved the power of the 
people to move onward in certain well-defined direc- 
tions. Whatever remains — and there is much re- 
maining — of inefiiciency and faithlessness in office, 
of discomforts long endured, and dangers unaverted. 


is due to that curious, apathetic good-nature which all 
Americans share in common, and of which Philadel- 
phians have no more than their even allowance. 
Good-nature is a dangerous virtue for a nation. Our 
keen sense of the ridiculous helps us to endure much 
that should never be endured; and the easy laugh 
with which an American citizen recognizes the ras- 
cality of the men whom he permits to rule him, is a 
death-blow to the reforms which are essential alike to 
his well-being and to his self-respect. 

The artistic growth of Philadelphia has been a fitful 
and feverish expansion. When she lost the quiet beauty, 
the exquisite sense of appropriateness and proportion 
which lent distinction to her colonial architecture, she 
wandered through ^devious paths, now clinging desper- 
ately to white marble and Grecian columns, — seeking 
safety in the definite and ascertained, — now giving free 
scope to much original and depressing ugliness. Squat, 
clumsy buildings, presenting a dead level of hopeless, 
but not actively offensive, mediocrity, gave place slowly 
to moye ornate structures, which revealed both the riot- 
ous possibilities of unbridled decoration, and an almost 
superhuman grasp of whatever was inherently unfitted 
for its purpose. Nothing is more remarkable than the 
tireless ingenuity with which an architect will go far 
out of his way to illustrate the meretricious. Only 
in late years has there come a change, and new men, 
masters of their craft, have begun to adorn the old 


Quaker town with graceful homes, and with public 
edifices, stately, strong and simple, harmonizing as 
far as possible with their surroundings, and reflect- 
ing that fine self-restraint which was the distinguish- 
ing characteristic of the early colony. 

It must ever be a matter for regret that the City Hall, 
commonly called the Public Buildings, should represent 
the most hopeless period in the history of Philadelphia's 
architecture, and that its only claim to distinction should 
be the marvellous manner in which it combines bulk 
with sterling insignificance. Size alone, we are brought 
up to believe, insures some degree of majesty. It is the 
bigness of the Pyramids which overawes the puny trav- 
eller in Egypt. But the City Hall is very, very large. 
It covers a wider area than any oth^r municipal build- 
ing in the United States. It is four hundred and 
eighty-six feet long, and four hundred and seventy 
feet broad. It has a courtyard two hundred feet 
square, and a tower five hundred and ten feet high, 
as tall nearly as the fair white shaft in Washington. 
It ought to be reasonably impressive, even though it 
were not beautiful. Yet the only effect it gives is that 
of an almost squalid paltriness. The dingy and mo- 
notonous fagade refuses resolutely to look vast; the 
tower of marble and lumpy metal-work is equally 
determined not to appear its proper height. The 
surmounting statue of William Penn gives to the 
whole a final, but needless touch of incongruity. On 


every side the decorations are either mediocre or pain- 
fully grotesque; and in murky corridors, that look as 
if they ought to lead to prisons hidden from the Hght 
of day, ugly twisted forms writhe in unseemly attitudes, 
as though struggling to escape from such depressing 
and melancholy gloom. The thin slabs of marble 
that form the outer skin of the walls have crumbled 
here and there in premature decay, and have been 
replaced by fresh ones, the startling whiteness of 
which, contrasting with their blackened neighbours, 
gives the effect of a great patchwork quilt. New 
windows, not in the original plan, have been pierced 
where least expected, but where — presumably — the 
wretched inmates have begged for light and air. Of 
the millions expended upon this monument of ineffi- 
ciency, and of the length of yeare it must stand in the 
very heart of Philadelphia to bear witness against the 
people who erected it, even those who profess a truly 
American unconcern endeavour not to think. As an 
illustration of what can be accomplished by an irrespon- 
sible building commission, the City Hall is not without 
interest nor without a moral ; but if Experience be the 
best of teachers, she asks terribly high prices for her 
tutelage, and unambitious citizens are wont to wish that 
their own town had not selected to take such an expen- 
sive course of instruction. 

Yet even while Philadelphia was learning bitter les- 
sons, she was also acquiring rich gifts, — gifts, artistic, 


scientific, educational, which were to enable her to com- 
pete with other great cities in the race for all that makes 
life pleasant, and of value. The Pennsylvania Academy 
of the Fine Arts is the oldest institution of its kind in 
the United States. Founded and chartered in 1805, 
it had its birth in still earlier days, when Charles 
Wilson Peale and Guiseppe Ceracchi struggled to 
maintain their school of painting and modelling, and 
when modest exhibitions were held in the State House, 
exciting scant interest in the community. The first 
Academy building stood back from Chestnut Street, 
with a courtyard and green trees between its portico 
and the grime of the city's highway. Old Philadel- 
phians who associate it lovingly with their childhood's 
days ; who, when they were little boys and girls, walked 
round and round the group of " Centaurs and Lapithse," 
trying vainly to disentangle the combatants ; who stood, 
thrilling with terror, before West's vast canvas, " Death 
on the Pale Horse," and wakened at midnight from 
awful dreams wherein that ghastly rider followed them, 
cannot well criticise the merits of these familiar ob- 
jects. Perhaps decorous and inartistic citizens were 
a long while escaping from the mental attitude which 
bade them cover up the antique casts from women's 
curious eyes. Perhaps they have not laid it wholly 
aside even now, being pardonably perplexed by the 
contentiousness of their many teachers, and by the vari- 
ance in the lessons taught. 


But that we have grown in knowledge and in wealth 
since those primitive days, who shall be found to ques- 
tion? The little white edifice, with its Ionic columns 
and its graceful air of detachment, has been replaced 
by the present structure on Broad Street; the small 
museum of paintings, which included, however, valu- 
able specimens of early American art, has expanded 
into a gallery of which the city may be justly proud. 
Private collections, containing pictures of exquisite 
beauty, have been acquired by bequest or by purchase. 
A generous endowment enables the Academy to buy 
year by year works of recognized merit ; and the wis- 
dom of the directors has saved these pictures from 
being covered with glass, a barbarous fashion, neces- 
sary only in soot-stricken England, and inexcusable 
in clearer, cleaner air. The exhibitions of early win- 
ter have grown from insignificance into a wide repute 
which promises even greater results in the future. It 
is a striking characteristic of Americans that the pro- 
foundly discouraging attitude of the government they 
sustain cannot wholly stifle their love of art. They 
are willing to look upon her merely as an industry, 
and to hold that she can be regulated, like other 
industries, by the law of supply and demand, and by 
an adroitly repellent system of taxation. They still 
believe that V' money makes masters," and that it lies 
in the power of wealth to quicken the genius it is 
prepared to patronize. But to covet pictures, and good 


pictures, to covet even a sight of them if possession 
be denied, is the first step to a wider knowledge ; and 
it would be hard to overestimate the artistic educa- 
tion derived by Philadelphia from her yearly exhibi- 
tions, when from east and west and over the seas come 
the canvases which hang for two short months upon 
her spacious walls. 

If the development of the Academy of the Fine Arts 
be a matter for wonder and delight, what shall be 
said of the development of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, which, within a score of years, has expanded 
in so marvellous a manner that none can now limit 
her future ambitions and achievements. A century 
and a half have passed since Franklin's " Proposals " 
went the round of sedate little Philadelphia, and found 
favour in many eyes. The college established by the 
Philosopher has led a checkered life during these hun- 
dred and fifty years, with much of honour and much of 
shame to give it light and shade. The high resolves 
and brilliant promises of its impetuous youth were 
chilled after the Revolution into ashes, which barely 
kept alive a tiny spark of fire. Through long periods 
of degrading inertia, when the blight of mediocrity 
lay upon Penn's city and all within her walls, the 
University — its very title a reproach — drowsed with 
its somnolent neighbours. When the town awakened, 
the old college awakened too, and wholesome humiliation 
pricked it into action. Seventeen years ago the first 



ildiiigs were ereeted lu V> i'liiiiiLiL-ipiua, a modest 
quartette, substantial, but far from beautiful, and with 
I only fifteen acres they could call their own. From this 

Hk new birth came swift and steady growth. The spirit of 
strenuous, insatiable progress moved forward with over- 
mastering zeal. Even placid self-satisfaction, wliich 
wanted to feel that it had done enough, was rudely 
undeceived, and structure after structure rose to give 
outward and visible sign of the restless power within. 

^^ To-day the University covers upwards of sixty 
acres, and finds this space too small. A library, 
where the twenty thousand books carried over the 
river have increased to nearly a hundred and fifty 
thousand; a museum under the same roof containing 
valuable collections of Egyptian, Babylonian, and 
American antiquities ; hospitals for men, women, dogs. 



and cats, — for the medical school, which formerly out- 
stripped its rivals, still stands abreast with all com- 
petitors ; an unequalled institute of anatomy ; a 
botanical garden; dormitories, which have even the 
grace of beauty to recommend them; halls, labora- 
tories, buildings wherein all things may be taught 
and learned, are grouped around the earlier founda- 
tion. The students have doubled and trebled in 
these years of advancement, the faculty has been 
proportionately enlarged. Better than all, the Grad- 
uate School, made adequate by liberal endowments, 
raises the University to a higher educational plane 
than seemed attainable a few years ago, and enables 
her to give her sons benefits they have hitherto sought 
from afar. When, in the future, the "Free Museum 
of Art and Science " stands fair and complete, it will 
be the crowning glory of a college, old as we count 
age in this young land, and a connecting link with 
that colonial period whose work we reverence, and 
whose influence and importance we realize more 
keenly day by day. 

Other institutions of learning has Philadelphia, 
though of less paramount importance. The venerable 
Academy of Natural Sciences bears the weight of 
many years and of past honours. The Drexel Insti- 
tute, the School of Industrial Art, and the School of 
Design for Women, open their doors to give what 

;i(ttical aid they can to the great unanswered prob- 


lem of education. Within a dozen miles from the 
city's gates stand the Ciuaker colleges of Haverford and 
Swarthmore, built and endowed by members of that 
religious body which has laboured so successfully for 
the material and intellectual welfare of Pennsylvania. 
And near at hand is Bryn Mawr College, founded by 


a Friend, Dr. Joseph W. Taylor, in 1880, for the ad- 
vanced education of women. 

If old age, with its traditions, and its curious record 
of right and wrong, attracts us keenly to an institu- 
tion, youth, brave, unabashed, triumphant, dazzles us a 
little by its splendour. Bryn Mawr was opened for 
scholai-s in 1885. It is thirteen yeai-s old, — a child 
among colleges ; yet its group of buildings with their 


adjacent lawns, courts, and athletic grounds, cover 
fifty acres. The infant library — a lusty babe — has 
already twenty-five thousand books, and three thou- 
sand dollars are spent annually in enlarging it. Over 
three hundred students are accommodated in the 
four halls of residence, — Merion, Radnor, Denbigh 
and Pembroke. The Graduate School offers admir- 
able advantages, and has been enriched with eleven 
resident and three European fellowships. Were Phila- 
delphia wont to boast, even as much as a wise 
city should, she would vaunt long and loud the 
achievements of this young college, which in a few 
years has attained so fine a record, and set so high a 
standard of scholarship before the world. 

But Philadelphia does not boast. She occasionally 
remembers that she might do so if she pleased, and 
she remarks now and then, half apologetically, that her 
Park is the largest in the United States, and the most 
beautiful in the world. Only the Prater of Vienna ex- 
cels it in size, and no other approaches it in loveliness. 
Nearly two hundred years ago, when the little Quaker 
colony never dreamed of possessing a great pleasure- 
ground of its own, Mr. Richard Castelman, who spent 
the winter and spring of 1710 in Penn's town, records 
the delight he felt in walking with friends on clear 
afternoons to Faire Mount, in looking at the river, 
and breathing the wholesome country air. It was 
not, however, until a century later that the city made 

THE QUAKKli HTY or rn.rMy 383 

its fii-st modest purchase of Morns lliii, live acres in 
extent, as a site for the proposed waterworks. A 
little garden shaded by trees, with grass plots, grav- 
elled walks, and a fountain, lay at the feet of the 
steep incline. Rush's denounced statue of the "Nymph 
and Swan " was placed picturesquely on the rocks, 
where the tall jet of water from the bird's slender 
throat fell into the pool beneath, and where the 
maid's clinging draperies, wet with spray, no longer 
offended the decorum of Centre Square. The same 
sculptor executed two reclining figures, which were 
placed over the doorways of the wheel-houses where 
they still remain. One of them, a venerable and de- 
jected old man, symbolizes the Schuylkill, fettered 
by human ingenuity, and chained in locks and dams. 
The other, a square, severe female of the Roman 
empress order, typifies water, and was broadly and 
comprehensively described by enthusiastic critics of 
the day as "unequalled in its kind throughout the 
world." The only exception taken to the work was 
that the vase against which the figure leans, and 
which represents the reservoir, is so full it overflows, 
the little lumpy streams falling over the sides with 
painful regularity, and hanging suspended in mid 
air. This was held to be " picturesque, but not appro- 
priate, as a reservoir should never overflow." It was 
certainly far from veracious. A vase h'\'^^ fnll of 
liquid mud would have been nearer tiuth. 



The little Park became in 1825 a great favourite 
with the public, and all strangers visiting the city 
were taken to sit under the trees, and to examine the 
waterworks, which were not then, as now, a mass of 
complicated machinery, propelled by steam, and of 
interest only to the initiated. In the old days, when 
an afternoon at Fairmount was the keen and crowning 
pleasure of childhood, huge wheels revolved slowly 



.<:^:^^^^^^^^^^ !M^-^ 


in the black water; awful, mysterious wheels, terri- 
fying beyond measure to infant Philadelphians who 
peered down trembling from the rickety wooden cause- 
way into the abyss below. The vibrations shook the 
slender balustrade against which they leaned ; in the 
semi-darkness the swirling eddies were churned into 
foam ; their hearts throbbed with a delicious ecstasy 
of fear ; the world seemed turning, turning, with those 
mighty wheels down into the rusliing waters; and 


then — when they could bear no more — came the 
swift revulsion from terror to exquisite delight, as 
they climbed back into the sunshine and the warm, 
soft air, and saw the staid, familiar grass plots, and 
heard the fountain splashing cheerfully in its marble 
cup. All is changed in that little old corner of Fair- 
mount, which has been long abandoned for the more 
beautiful walks and diives beyond. The hall which 
had such a delightful echo, and in which stood Rush*s 
wooden figures of Justice and Wisdom, has been dis- 
mantled. The marble boy, whose shameless naked- 
ness was half hidden by the spouting fountain jets, 
has disappeared. The Nymph, who seems destined, 
poor thing, never to find a pennanent home, has been 
lifted from her rocks, and placed in the centre of tlie 
garden. Even the children have broader playgrounds 
now, and no longer run ceaselessly up and down the 
steep reservoir hill. The world moves on its way, 
and every city holds spots like this, once prized, and 
now neglected, once full of life, now empty and 

The Park grew slowly until it counted its first 
twenty-four acres. Then Philadelphia began to taste 
the sweets of proprietorship, and coveted wider lands. 
Lemon Hill, Sedgeley, Lansdowne, and . adjacent 
estates were added from time to time. Some care 
was taken to improve the grounds, and keep the 
roads in order. The beautiful Wiissaliickon Gleu, 



where, in the days of the Founder, the German 
mystics had built their huts, to await, amid the fairest 
scenery they could find, the coming of the millennium, 
was purchased in 1868. George's Hill was presented 
to the city by its aged owners, Mr. Jesse George and 
his sister Rebecca, in whose family 
it had remained for generations. ' ' , 

Many ancient landmarks "^(^ ^ '\ \ ./ 

and historic man- 
sions were in- 
cluded in the 
of Fair- 

. .<^^' 


mount; some carried thither, like the little Letitia 
House, built by William Penn for his discontented 
daughter; some standing where they had stood for 
a century or more, like Mt. Pleas^tnt, the home of 
Benedict Arnold, Belmont, the home of Judge Peters, 
and the "Solitude," that Liliputian dwelling-place 
erected by John Penn the younger, when some whim 



[orisolation possessed his restless soul. Even tlie 
*' Castle," the time-honoured abode of the Fishing 
Company, which is the oldest club of its kind in the 
United States, was enclosed in the wide confines of 
the Park. 

The Zoological Garden was opened in 1874, a hand- 
some, well-appointed garden, perhaps a shade less 
melancholy than most of these sad prisons for beast 
and bird; — where the polar bear gasps in our torrid 
heat ; where the caged eagle, motionless as stone, gazes 
with sombre eyes into the forbidden blue ; and the lion 
paces hour after hour its narrow den, unutterable long- 
ing, unutterable weariness in every languid step. The 
day must come, though it seems far distant yet, when 
an advanced civilization will question its own right to 
condemn wild creatures to lifelong captivity, for the 
amusement which we call complacently instruction. 

In Fairmount Park, the crowning glory of Philadel- 
phia, the city has realized in her own way, and as best 
she could, her Founder's desire for green fields and 
spreading boughs. Closer and closer creep the houses, 
even in the suburbs which once had breathing space ; 
higher and higher tower the great business buildings, 
lifting their stone walls against the sky ; fouler and 
fouler grows the poisoned earth, until the trees, which 
once lent grateful shade to the hot, glaring streets, 
wither and die. But near at hand — a recompense 
for all such evils — lies this vast civic demesne, these 



broad acres that belong to all ; with wooded tracts and 
deep ravines, with hills and dales, and brown streams 
rippling into shallow pools, and the river winding its 
leisurely way through the heart of the people's play- 
ground. The possession of this park illustrates the 
temper of the town whose English colonists brought 

^)^f-':^^, ., _ ^ 

1 '•-•■-^^;."^ 



over the sea a love for the country, and country life ; 
and whose rich citizens built themselves suburban 
homes, considering, like true Britons, that the great 
pleasure of prosperity lay in the acquisition of landed 

They think so still, for, indeed, the city built by 
Penn has retained many of the characteristics which 
first distinguished her. It is not so easy as the careless 



believe to relinquish a birthright, to escape from an 
inheritance. Onward we must move, but our finest 
development lies along the lines marked out for our 
first footsteps. The debt Philadelphia owes to her 
Quaker colonists is no less apparent because she has 
put aside fashions of speech, and dress, and public 
worship. It is true that only for a few weeks in the 
year may the drab bonnets and broad-brimmed hats 
be seen in the crowded highways, and that they grow 
less marked with each succeeding spring. Yet, never- 
theless, the impress of the Quaker hand lingers still ; 
not only in the simple, dignified old buildings to which 
time lends an added charm, but in the ineffaceable 
spirit of the town. A quiet town always, at which 
noisier communities point fingers of derision, mistaking 
bustle for advancement. To pass from a great sister 
city to Philadelphia is like leaving Paris, where every 
one conscientiously strives to make as much noise as 
he can, and entering London, where every one con- 
scientiously strives to make as little as he can, the 
result being a grateful silence, healthy for mind, and 
soul, and body. Even wealth wears a strange air of 
modesty in the old streets, where once the prosperous 
Friends gave little outward token of the fortunes they 
amassed and enjoyed. Money is the same great power 
all the world over, but there is ever a limit to its 
autocracy ; and in Philadelphia it is expected to show 
as little arrogance as it can, which is a virtue that 


must be acquired in the beginning, but becomes a 
gracious instinct by inheritance. 

A strong attachment to whatever has been, an 
equally strong, and often well-founded dislike for inno- 
vations, characterize Penn's city, which has seldom 
thirsted after novelties. Her prejudices are ancient, 
deeply venerated, and unconquerable. Strangers 
within her gates protest vehemently against these 
prejudices, and explain their absurdity in the clearest 
and most convincing manner. They waste a great 
deal of valuable time in this way, and are never quite 
sure whether they have been listened to or not. If 
the day ever comes when logic will persuade as easily 
as it preaches and proves, the face of the earth will be 
altered, and Philadelphia may change with the chang- 
ing world. 

Above all, the Quaker City lacks that discriminating 
enthusiasm for her own children, and the work of 
their hands, which enables more zealous towns to rend 
the skies with shrill pseans of applause, and to crown 
their favoured citizens with bays. Philadelphia, like 
Marjorie Fleming's stoical turkey, is " more than 
usual calm," when her sons and daughters win dis- 
tinction in any field. She takes the matter quietly, 
as she takes most other matters, preserving with ease 
her mental balance, and listening unmoved to the 
plaudits of the outside world. This attitude is not 
wholly wise nor commendable, inasmuch as cities, like 


men, are often received at their own valuation, and 
some degree of self-assertion converts many a waver- 
ing mind. If the mistaking of geese for swans 
produces sad confusion, and a lamentable lack of per- 
spective, the mistaking of swans for geese may also 
be a dangerous error. The birds either languish, or 
fly away to keener air, and something which cannot 
be replaced is lost. Yet anything is better than having 
two standards of merit, one for use at home, and one 
for use abroad; and the sharp discipline of quiet 
neglect is healthier for a worker than that loud local 
praise which wakes no echo from the wider world. 

A quiet town. Her mobs which once went mad 
with joy over the Revolution in France, or mad with 
zeal for a religion, ill-understood and ill-obeyed, have 
been calmed by age, or by the influence of a community 
which never, even in moments of folly and degradation, 
lost the saving grace of sanity. It is true that much 
that is new and much that is bad have vulgarized and 
vitiated the old tranquil life ; but something that was 
given to the infant city as she lay cradled between 
her two rivers remains with her still, some leaven of 
modesty, some legacy of soberness and self-restraint. 
Still the tender, pathetic appeal of William Penn, 
when he bade farewell to the colony he had founded 
and cherished, rings in our ears, and finds an answer 
in our hearts : — 

" And thou, Philadelphia, the virgin settlement 


of this province, named before thou wert born, what 
care, what service, and what travail has there been to 
bring thee forth, and preserve thee from such as would 
abuse and defile thee. Oh, that thou mayest be kept 
from the evil that would overwhelm thee ; that, faithful 
to the God of thy mercies, in the life of righteousness, 
thou mayest be preserved to the end." 

Works by Mrs. Oliphant. 



With illustrations from Drawings by Professor Delamotie, and a Steel Por- 
trait of Savonarola engraved by C. H. J kens. New and Cheaper Editions, 
Crown 8vo, $2,50. Also in 4 vols. i6mo, Cloth, $3.00, or sold separately at 
95 cents per volume. 

Edition de Luxe, with 20 additional Plates reproduced from Line Engravings 
after Pictures by Florentine Artists. Medium 8vo, $6.00. 

" The studies of character are lifelike and fair, and the narrative portions are full 
of picturesque touches. . . . The book is beautifully illustrated with woodcuts after 
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With numerous Illustrations by R. R. HOLMES, F.S.A. New and Cheaper 
Edition, Crown 8vo, ^2.50. 

" Mrs. Oliphant's hand has not lost its cunning. ' The Makers of Venice' is even 
more delightful than ' The Makers of Florence.' The writing is bright and animated, 
the research thorough, the presentation of Venetian life brilliantly vivid." — Blackwood's 
Magazine (Edinburgh). 



With numerous Illustrations by George Reid, R.S.A. Crown 8vo, Cloth, 

Edition de Luxe, Super Royal 8vo, with proofs of the Illustrations, $18.00. 

" History and tradition, fact and romance, the changing characteristics of the old 
and new town, and the personality of the women of distinction and the men of power 
and genius whose lives centred there, — all get a place in Mrs. Oliphant's enticing pages." 
— Boston Beacon. 



Illustrated. Crown 8vo. $2.50. 


Uniform with " The Makers of Florence," " The Makers of Venice," etc. With 
Illustrations by Joseph Pennell and RivikRE, engraved on wood by 
Octave Lacour. Medium 8vo. 

" Her subjects are studied with -vident painstaking, and both characters and his- 
torical surroundings are outlined with skill. Her idea is novel and good, and the bcxjk 
one of real historical value." — The Advance. 





Author of ''yean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville" 
" Balcony Stories" etc. 

Illustrated by Frances E. Jones. 

i2mo. Cloth. $2.50, 

"It Is a delightful book, and is beautifully illustrated with a great host of effectlva 
pictures, by pencil and camera. . . . Few people could have done the work so well, 
none could have done it better than Miss King." — New Orleans Picayune. 

" It is neither a history nor a guide-book, but it is likely to be more entertaining 
than either to most readers, and many will be stimulated to carry their study of the sub- 
ject further. Miss King knows her New Orleans thoroughly and has given us a most 
fascinating book." — Springfield Repiiblican. 

" Miss King's book is rich in attractiveness, and it ought to attain a wide circular 
tion among the people whose history it tells so accurately and so charmingly. The book 
is handsomely printed and the illustrations are a creditable and striking feature." — New 
Orleans States. 

" * New Orleans: the Place and the People ' is a work which will appeal to Northern 
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— Chicago Evening Post. 

" One of the most readable books that has appeared for years. . . . This is a 
triumph of literary art, and when it is added that the pictures are as clever as the text, 
it will be seen that the book is noteworthy." — San Francisco Chronicle. 

Uniform with the Above. 



Illustrated by Ernest C. Peixotto. 
i2mo. Cloth. $2.50. 





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